Perkins pulls out of congressional race

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here is the body of the letter:

My motivation to run for the 7th Congressional District seat is my strong commitment to serve people. However, the past few months have been some of the toughest I have experienced because that strong commitment to serve is conflicting with personal matters I cannot ignore.

Several years ago, while coaching a little league baseball team, I injured my hip joint. The injury was described as similar to a Bo Jackson type hip injury. After several weeks of physical therapy, I knew I would never be one hundred percent but I was much better. Since then, I have run three hard campaigns for mayor and served 8 years as mayor of Selma without incident.

Email newsletter signup

In late August of this year, while campaigning for Congress, I accidentally stepped off wrong and reinjured that joint. According to my physician, I can opt for surgery now or defer it until later. The immediate challenge is the type of aggressive grass-root campaigning required to win the election will aggravate the injury and make things worse.

Because I have lived with this situation for several years, I know routine work days for me are okay. However, the constant pounding while aggressively campaigning after the re-injury is a challenge I cannot ignore. Mid-September, I suspended my campaign and hoped sufficient rest would, once again, change my options. Unfortunately, that has not been the case this time.

Therefore, it has come down to a couple of choices. Professionally, I can work with the injury because the kind of work I do, does not require constant pressure on the injury and I have been actively exploring work opportunities. The other option is more personal, and that is, to have the surgery that can fix the injury. In other words, in the immediate, I can go either to work or to surgery. However, at this point, aggressive campaigning is not an option.

I have deferred making a public statement hoping and praying for a different outcome. Once again, that has not been the case. Therefore, I must make the tough decision to drop out of the Congressional race. This has been an extremely difficult decision for me. However, I believe it to be in the best interest of my family, the people in District 7, and me.

I express my sincere appreciation for everything done by everyone thus far. Without you, I would not have been able to consider the opportunity to serve you in Congress. My hope is that my campaign’s focus remains a part of the campaign debate. That is: 1) placing the pressing and urgent needs of the people first, 2) providing public service with integrity, and 3) facilitating district-wide development and progress by increasing collaboration between the rural and urban portions of the district. Ultimately, I hope the next Congressperson will make these items a priority during their term in office.

To all,Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays, and to family, friends, and supporters, thank you.