Chris Taylor, a firefighter in Safford, was running for U.S. Congress D1 at the time of the nearly fatal heroin overdose.

Congressional candidate Chris Taylor has suspended his campaign for the District 1 seat after a near-fatal overdose.

Taylor was one of three running for the Republican nomination. He is an Army veteran and member of the Safford City Council. He has been open about his struggles with PTSD and past addiction to opioids, but apparently relapsed last week. According to the Gila Herald, he had a heroin overdose Feb. 19, and was found by his wife Sarah, who administered chest compressions before the arrival of paramedics. He was revived with a dose of Narcan.

“Today, I have suspended my campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives and am seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder,” Taylor announced in social media. “I will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose. Please respect the privacy of my wife and children as we deal with this situation.”

By his own account Taylor had been sober seven years after completing a treatment program for his addiction. While in the Army, he served the Special Operations Forces in psychological warfare.

“I’m not going to hide from this. I’m not ashamed of what happened,” he said in his statement. “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. 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.”

The Taylors have two young children.

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