Jason Kander Opens Up About Struggling With Mental Illness In The Political Spotlight

by | Jul 2, 2022 | Politics

In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, there was significant chatter that Jason Kander would run for the Democratic nomination. Kander, a former intelligence officer in Afghanistan, served in the Missouri House of Representatives and then as the state’s secretary of state. In 2016, he lost the U.S. Senate election to Republican incumbent Roy Blunt ― but significantly outperformed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the state. AdvertisementIn 2017, in a final Oval Office interview, President Barack Obama was asked about the future of the Democratic Party. He named Kander. That same year, Kander started a political group called Let America Vote, dedicated to ending voter suppression. Yet behind the scenes, Kander was struggling. He had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since his return from Afghanistan ― which was a secret he kept from everyone, including himself. Instead of running for president, Kander made the surprise announced in June 2018 that he would instead be throwing his hat in the ring for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. He was widely seen as the favorite in the race, which is why in October it was even more shocking when he said he was dropping out.AdvertisementKander then revealed for the first time publicly that he had been struggling with mental health problems, including depression, nightmares and suicidal thoughts. He removed himself from public life and sought help. Since that time, Kander has continued to speak about mental health, worked with veterans and dipped his toe back into Democratic politics. He is out with …

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