Apr 2, 2024 - Politics

Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva announces cancer diagnosis

Congressman Raul Grijalva looks off to the side.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., conducts a news conference on in Longworth Building on March 28, 2022. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, the longest-tenured member of Arizona's congressional delegation and the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources, has been diagnosed with cancer.

The big picture: Grijalva, of Tucson, announced Tuesday morning that testing revealed he had cancer after he'd sought treatment a few weeks ago for "a persistent cough which was initially diagnosed as pneumonia."

  • 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.

What he's saying: "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.

Between the lines: 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.

The Congressman's office remains open, constituent services will continue uninterrupted and he's in regular communication with his staff as he undergoes treatment, Reyes said.

Catch up quick: Grijalva was first elected to the House in 2002 and is a former co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

  • He represents Arizona's 7th Congressional District, a Democratic stronghold that includes parts of Tucson, Yuma and western metro Phoenix.
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