Former Missouri Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander announced yesterday that he’s dropping out of the race for Kansas City mayor.
Kander, a former Army intelligence officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, said he’s taking time to deal with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Jack Cardetti, a Democratic operative who knows Kander, thinks he’ll be an inspiration for all individuals who suffer from similar conditions. “The fact that he came forward in such a public manner to talk about these issues will undoubtedly help other Missourians, it’ll help other veterans, it’ll help people across the country,” Cardetti.
Kander narrowly lost the 2016 Missouri U.S. Senate race by three percentage points to incumbent Republican Roy Blunt in an election in which President Trump carried the state by 19 points. His campaign drew national attention for both his robust effort against Blunt, and a TV ad that was widely circulated and created a major buzz. The ad featured a blindfolded Kander effortlessly assembling a rifle while simultaneously speaking about his plan to beef up background checks for guns.
Cardetti thinks Kander’s announcement Tuesday will motivate other people suffering from similar conditions to openly deal with their problems.
“He obviously dealing with mental health issues like so many Missourians are,” Cardetti said. “And a lot of them are dealing with those (issues) not out into the open. So, his courageous statement and detailing his fight with depression and PTSD is really going to help a lot of people.”
Kander, who is 37-years-old, had been considered a rising star in Democratic politics and had been mentioned as a possible national candidate in 2020. He further established himself around the country with his voting rights organization, Let America Vote.
Many political pundits were surprised when he entered the Kansas City mayoral race because of his national trajectory and numerous appearances on cable TV news outlet. He said Tuesday that he was hoping the mayoral race and focusing on his hometown would help ease his mental health issues.
Cardetti thinks Kander, who climbed the ranks of public office quickly at a young age will have plenty of time to return to politics at a later date. “Politics is, sort of, on the back burner, and it’s the least of any of our thoughts that know and like Jason,” said Cardetti.
Read further details about Jason Kander’s open letter announcing his departure from the Kansas City mayoral race here.