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Democrat Congressman Reveals Cancer Diagnosis

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Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) announced Tuesday that testing revealed he had cancer.

“A few weeks ago, I sought medical treatment for a persistent cough which was initially diagnosed as pneumonia. After further testing and imaging, my physician discovered that I have cancer,” Grijalva said in a statement.

“This diagnosis has been difficult to process, but I am confident in the vigorous course of treatment that my medical team has developed, and I’ve begun my journey to fight this cancer,” he continued.

According to Axios, Grijalva is the “longest-tenured member of Arizona’s congressional delegation and the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources.”

The Arizona Democrat is 76 years old.

Axios reports:

His press statement didn’t specify what kind of cancer, and a spokesperson told Axios his family hasn’t released that information.

The congressman’s office ed in the House since Feb. 15 and has missed about 50 roll call votes since then, the Tucson Sentinel reported.

“This diagnosis has been difficult to process, but I am confident in the vigorous course of treatment that my medical team has developed, and I’ve begun my journey to fight this cancer,” Grijalva said.

Grijalva has no plans to resign and will continue running for re-election, spokesman Ruben Reyes told Axios.

The announcement came one day after the deadline for candidates to file their petitions to get on the July 30 primary election ballot.

“I am working hard to get healthy and return to business as usual as soon as I am able,” said Grijalva, according to the Associated Press.

The outlet noted Grijalva is seeking his 12th term in this year’s election cycle.

From the Associated Press:

Ruben Reyes, who works for Grijalva as his Southern Arizona district director, said he didn’t think the cancer treatment will affect the congressman’s ability to do his job.

The district Grijalva represents spans most of the Arizona-Mexico border and includes sections of Cochise, Maricopa, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties.

“My congressional office remains open and the many services we provide for our constituents continue uninterrupted. I am in regular communication with my staff,” Grijalva said in his statement. “It is a privilege to serve as a Representative for the people of Arizona and take this responsibility very seriously.”

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