“I’m not going to hide from this,” Taylor said in a statement to The Post. “I’m not ashamed of what happened. I wish to sincerely apologize to the amazing people who have supported me.”
Taylor, who said he has battled with an opioid addiction since high school, was seeking the Republican nomination for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which is currently held by Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran.
Republicans view the seat as vulnerable because President Trump won in the district by one percentage point in 2016, the Arizona Republic reported. Taylor campaigned on protecting the Second Amendment, cutting wait times at Veterans Affairs facilities and supporting Trump’s trade policies.
As the opioid crisis has continued to make headlines, only a few politicians, especially at the federal level, have come forward with their own stories of addiction.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) released a statement about her alcohol dependence in January after a serious fall that was linked to drinking.
New York state Sen. Peter Harckham (D), who has been sober for more than three decades, praised Taylor for having the courage to be honest.
“When you are a candidate, you need to be candid, so I applaud him recognizing he needs to go into treatment,” Harckham told The Post. “He has to put his health and recovery first.”
Harckham, who recently revealed his history with addiction while announcing legislation he wrote to address the crisis in New York, said there were few other politicians he could look to when he came forward.
“If we’re talking about ending stigma, people like myself have to speak up,” he told the New York Times. “The older I get, it’s like, ‘Screw it. I don’t care what people think.’”
Taylor told The Post that he wants “to face this head-on while addressing the stigma associated with addiction.”
Taylor, a father of two, said he would cooperate “with local authorities on any matters arising from” the overdose.