'Parkinson's on steroids': Virginia Rep. Wexton will not seek reelection after 'tough' diagnosis

Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., will not seek reelection next year, after receiving a new and worse diagnosis of "Parkinson's on steroids" from her doctors, she said in a statement Monday.

"I've always believed that honesty is the most important value in public service, so I want to be honest with you now — this new diagnosis is a tough one. There is no 'getting better,'" Wexton said in her announcement, posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The third-term congresswoman shared her original Parkinson's diagnosis, a nervous system disorder that can affect movement and cause tremors, in April. But after noticing she was not making progress with treatment and that her symptoms differed from those in her Parkinson's support group, Wexton said she sought further medical testing and opinions.

Wexton's diagnosis was modified to progressive supra-nuclear Palsy, a rare brain disorder with no cure.

After asking her doctor if she could still run for reelection next fall, her doctor replied, "Why would you want to?" according to The Washington Post.

Wexton said in her Monday statement she plans to finish out her current term in office and then spend her remaining years with her husband, two sons and other loved ones.

"I'm heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community," Wexton said in her statement.

Her district in northern Virginia was a Republican stronghold for decades, before Wexton defeated GOP incumbent Barbara Comstock in 2018.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., posted a picture of Wexton to X Monday morning of her in a Wonder Woman costume on Halloween 2018, saying, "When I think of Jennifer Wexton, I think of this photo."

"She is an amazing public servant, listener, and fighter for her constituents," Kaine wrote. "I will miss her terribly in Congress and I’ll be keeping her in my prayers."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jennifer Wexton will not run again after supra-nuclear Palsy diagnosis