One day after filing for re-election to a 15th term, House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) revealed Tuesday night that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
"My doctor tells me that I am in the early stages of Parkinson's disease, but the symptoms are mild and the progression is slow," he said in a statement announcing his filing. "The chief symptom is an occasional tremor in my right hand, which responds to medication and is mostly a nuisance. The other symptom is in my posture, which is bent a bit, but I hope to correct it with exercise."
Spratt said the disease will not keep him from seeking another term this November.
"None of these symptoms affects me mentally or physically. I see my neurologist, Dr. Marc Stacy, once a year, and in December, I went to him for a prognosis. Dr. Stacy was pleased with the status and slow progression, and told me, if you are looking for a reason not to run again, this is not it.'
"There are many reasons to run again, but I would never consider it if I did not have the energy, motivation, and ability to do this job to the fullest."
Along with the physical obstacles he will have to overcome, Spratt's political road to re-election also is not an easy one. Republicans have recruited state Sen. Mick Mulvaney, who has been touted as a top challenger by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Mulvaney, whose first-quarter fundraising report is expected to be strong, had about $117,000 in cash on hand on Dec. 31, while Spratt reported nearly $646,000 in the bank.