SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane City Council President, Ben Stuckart, announced his withdrawal of congressional candidacy Tuesday.

Stuckart was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 5th Congressional District in Eastern Washington, running against current Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Stuckart cited family health issues as his reason to drop out of the race.

Read Stuckart's full statement below:

"Today I am announcing the end of my Congressional campaign in order to focus on family health issues that have arisen over the last few weeks. In my heart, I believed that I could represent the citizens of Spokane as Council President, run a people-first campaign against a member of Congressional leadership, and meet my obligations to my extended family. I now know that I simply cannot adequately fulfill my duties to each without a detriment to the whole. My family deserves my focus on their health right now.

The citizens of Spokane reelected me to lead an agenda that addresses the cyclical poverty that affects our city, focuses on economic development and job growth, and pursues environmental sustainability in all City operations. Those issues deserve my focus and attention right now. Although it won’t be me carrying the message, I am heartened by recent poll numbers that show a strong number of Eastern Washingtonians ready to make a change in Congress. I am strengthened by numbers that show the people of Washington’s 5th Congressional district believe that getting care when you are sick is a basic human right.

I am humbled by the care and concern people have shown for each other in response to the recent wave of hate crimes across our region and country. And I am amused that the people of Eastern Washington completely get the irony when their six term congresswoman talks about “draining the swamp”. I share their disgust when we see another disparaging tweet from our President on the national news. I feel their fear every morning when I glance at the newspaper headlines. And I commit to always joining them in demanding equality, truthfulness, and responsiveness from our Federal government.

I want to thank the countless volunteers and people I have met over the last six months. Thank you for sharing your desires for a better Eastern Washington. Thank you for adding to our vision. I want to thank my campaign manager Alexander Scott and my entire campaign team, my Council colleagues for stepping up in my absence, and my family for their incredible support and patience."