Safford city councilman and Arizona congressional candidate Chris Taylor has suspended his campaign after overdosing on heroin.
“Today, I have suspended my campaign for the US House of Representatives and am seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder,” Taylor told the Arizona Republic in a statement released on Monday. “I will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose.”
“I’m not going to hide from this. I’m not ashamed of what happened,” he continued. “I wish to sincerely apologize to the amazing people who have supported me. I don’t know what went wrong. I recently relapsed after having so many solid years in sobriety. I have to figure out where I went wrong.” He continued:
Thankfully I have every resource available to me through the Veterans Affairs Administration and I have the strongest support system one could dream of. My family stands behind me 100% and I feel the love and prayers of our amazing Gila Valley Community. I haven’t been able to respond to each of you yet but I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have reached out to me in love and understanding.
The only thing I can do is face this head on in complete humility and put one foot in front of the other so that I can get the help needed to be the father and husband that my family deserves. I’m human and I have never pretended to be anything but. I know that through the Grace of my loving savior Jesus Christ I will be restored to full health and bounce back from this and be stronger than ever.
According to reporting by the Gila Herald, Taylor was revived by paramedics using a drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose, after a family member found him unresponsive in his home Wednesday night. Authorities also found “items related to intravenous drug use” at the Safford Fire Department where Taylor volunteers.
The councilman was seeking Republican nomination in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, currently represented by second-term incumbent Democrat Tom O’Halleran. His exit removes yet another competitor with front-runner Tiffany Shedd, an Eloy lawyer and cotton farmer. Shedd has been endorsed by California Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.