Here's the full statement on why Congressman Tom Garrett decided to drop out of the race for Congress in November. I'll have the full story coming up on @CBS19News at 11 p.m. pic.twitter.com/mYsNbYzVce— Desiree Montilla (@desmontilla) May 29, 2018
A Virginia Republican abruptly announced he will not be seeking re-election for a second term in Congress because he is suffering from alcoholism.
Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), 46, said he wants to seek treatment for the condition and needs some time recovering with his family.
He made the announcement in a video filmed in Richmond's Capitol Square, Virginia.
“Any person — Republican, Democrat or independent — who has known me for any period of time and has any integrity knows two things: I am a good man and I'm an alcoholic. This is the hardest statement that I have ever publicly made by far. It's also the truth,” said the 46-year-old lawmaker.
Garrett added, “This is the hardest statement that I have ever publicly made, by far. It's also the truth. With this in mind, not for fear of losing or for lack of love for our great nation, today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election. Sometimes winning means knowing where your priorities should be.”
The sudden decision by the lawmaker comes just days after former aides accused him of using his staffers as personal servants.
The former staffers, who requested to remain anonymous, spoke to Politico where they accused Garrett and his wife, Flanna Garrett, of mistreatment. They claimed they were forced to clean clothes for the lawmaker, get groceries, walk their dog, clean up her mess and chauffeur their children.
The staffers added Flanna routinely visited the office and expected them to fulfill her demands even post office timings.
Two former staffers also confirmed to The Washington Post that they were asked to perform household chores for the couple.
Following the reports, Garrett’s chief of staff Jimmy Keady abruptly resigned from his job over a dispute with the lawmaker. According to LegiStorm, the Congressman has been in office for less than a year and a half but his office holds the fourth-highest rate of staff turnover in the entire House of Representatives.
The Republican referenced the allegations in his video message and said, “The recent attacks on my family and myself were a series of half truths and whole lies.”
Garrett is the 48th Republican in the House to announce retirement before the 2018 elections.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Andrew Kelly