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 Parkinsons disease.
My doctor tells me that I am in the early stages of Parkinsons 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, Spratts 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.
James Jones, communications director for DC Vote, tapes a "DC Constituents Service Day" sign on the wall as he stands with other DC residents outside of Rep. Andy Harris's office on Capitol Hill to protest Harris' actions against D.C.'s marijuana laws on Thursday, July 24, 2014. DC Vote encouraged DC residents to bring their complaints about city services to the Maryland congressman.