Former Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan is running to regain his old position — and spending lots of time on the campaign trail talking about the severe depression that led him to quit political life in 2006.
Duncan is the first candidate in the Washington region to make his mental illness an integral part of his presentation to voters. If he wins, he will join just a small handful of U.S. officials elected after disclosing a psychological ailment. Here is a look at politicians whose careers have been defined, in part, by their struggles with mental illness in the public spotlight.
Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton
Eagleton was dropped from the vice presidential spot on the 1972 Democratic ticket after reports of his electro-shock treatment for depression.
Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles
In the 1990s, Chiles (D) was twice elected governor of Florida after retiring from the U.S. Senate, being diagnosed with depression and taking the anti-depressant Prozac.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) was elected governor of Minnesota in 2010 after leaving the Senate and revealing his experience with depression and alcoholism.
Rep. Lynn Rivers
Voters returned Lynn Rivers (D) of Michigan to Congress after she spoke openly about her bipolar disorders.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy
Voters returned Patrick Kennedy (D) of Rhode Island to Congress after speaking openly about his bipolar disorders.
D.C. Council Chairman John A. Wilson
Wilson (D) began to speak publicly about his long fight with depression in the months before his 1993 suicide.