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Jason Kander opens up about dropping out of KCMO mayoral race

Posted at 1:56 PM, Jun 13, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Kansas City mayoral candidate and veteran Jason Kander is opening up about why he suddenly dropped out of the race last year.

Kander left the race in October 2018, citing his need to concentrate on his mental health.

“It was gradual. Things were just getting worse and worse and actually I was planning on running for president and I was all set to do that,” Kander said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Lester Holt. “I wouldn't out loud give it the name post-traumatic stress at that time, but I knew something was not right and it was getting worse."

Kander was considered a frontrunner when he dropped out of the race. He gained name recognition in his failed bid to defeat Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt in 2016. Kander previously served as Missouri’s secretary of state.

During the interview, Holt asked Kander if there was a moment he realized he had to get out of the race.

“I was in the kitchen and crying pretty uncontrollably, and I wasn't crying because I had to get out of the mayor's race, it was just the realization, 'oh, I got wounded over there,’” Kander said.

Kander served as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is very common. More than 800,000 veterans fight the mental illness every day.

PTSD resources

Any veteran who needs help can call the VA hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Military One Source

National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD United

Suicide Prevention Action Network

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)