In a lengthy social media post Friday, Democrat Chris Armitage said he was ending his congressional campaign.
Armitage, 28, cited declining mental health and allegations from a woman with whom he’d had a relationship as reasons for dropping out of a contest he entered more than a year ago. His name was on ballots printed and mailed to primary voters this week.
“Ultimately, when I step back and look at this race, I know I cannot be the person I want to be or the candidate I want to be right now,” the statement attributed to Armitage on both his Twitter and Facebook accounts reads. “The 5th District deserves the best, it deserves a candidate who can be their best self and put the 5th District first, which I am not currently in a place to do.”
Armitage could not immediately be reached for comment Friday night. His statement refers to “an allegation that what I considered at the time to be a consensual relationship was not.”
“Reflecting back on that time, it is my recollection that the relationship was both explicitly consensual and positive,” the statement said. “That is not the recollection of the person who brought their experience to light, and I respect and understand that. I cannot and will not take her experience and try to redefine it.”
With Armitage ending his campaign, the only Democrat still in the race against Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is Dave Wilson, who filed on the final day of eligibility for Eastern Washington’s Congressional seat. Stephen Major has filed as a Republican, and Brendan O’Regan is running as an independent.
Armitage had raised nearly $149,000 in his campaign for Congress, picking up endorsements from several local progressive politicians in a campaign that had focused largely on attracting a digital audience in recent weeks. He appeared on comedian David Feldman’s podcast this week.
Armitage’s campaign team put out a separate statement on the candidate’s social media pages, expressing support for Armitage’s decision to drop out and highlighting the work of his supporters.
“We are all flawed and imperfect human beings, and as activists, we have learned that we need to be able to give each other grace and space to be those vulnerable warriors,” the statement, which is attributed to the “campaign team,” reads.