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CD1 Republican candidate suspends campaign after heroin overdose

Chris Taylor, a Safford city councilman vying to run as a Republican in Arizona's CD1, ended his campaign for Congress after he was found overdosed on heroin last week.

"Today, I have suspended my campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives and am seeking treatment for substance abuse disorder," Taylor said Monday. "I will fully cooperate with local authorities on any matters arising from my recent relapse and overdose."

Taylor, one of three GOP candidates in the primary to determine a challenger to incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran, was found "unresponsive" at his home by a family member last Wednesday night, the Gila Herald reported.

Taylor was revived at the scene by a dose of Narcan administered by paramedics. The incident "occurred after items related to intravenous drug use were found at the Safford Fire Department where Taylor volunteers as a firefighter," the Herald said.

The Army veteran, who saw combat during two tours in Afghanistan, has struggled with opioid addiction since high school, the Arizona Republic reported.

"I'm not going to hide from this. I'm not ashamed of what happened," Taylor said when announcing the end of his congressional run. "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."

"It's never too late to start over," he later posted on Facebook. "I will never understand how many blessings and tender mercies I have been afforded in my life. I don't deserve any of it. My amazing angel of a wife and beautiful babies. I will work tirelessly to make this right. I can do nothing without my Savior."

CD 1 sprawls from the northern edge of the Tucson metro area, including Oro Valley, taking in eastern Arizona and running through Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon, Navajo and Hopi reservations and the Utah border. Safford, population about 9,500, is about 130 driving miles from Tucson, to the northeast in rural Graham County.

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Taylor, who was elected to the Safford City Council in 2016, has previously been open about his addiction.

His congressional fundraising — just more than $28,000 to start the year — has paled in comparison to primary opponent Tiffany Shedd, an Eloy farmer and attorney who's pulled in nearly $300,000. O'Halleran's tally sits at about $1 million more than that.

Also campaigning on the GOP side are John Moore, Nolan Reidhead, Doyel Shamley and Juan Smith. On the Democratic side, primary aspirants include Barbara McGuire, Eva Putzova and Larry Williams.

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