"This is a tough day for me," the 12-term lawmaker said in a statement, adding that he has "come to recognize that the time needed to address my health makes it difficult to wage a campaign and carry out my work as representative."
Evans, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1995, has not been able to attend congressional meetings or cast votes since receiving medical attention on Feb. 14, according to his office. Evans, 54, was briefly hospitalized and has been home in Washington, D.C., since then.
"I will return soon and to the best of my ability complete the important work of this term," Evans said, closing with the Marine Corps motto, "Semper fi."
Evans is the top Dem on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and a leading member on the Armed Services Committee. He served in the Marine Corps from 1969-71.
John Kerry issued the following statement today regarding Evans retirement due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease:
“Lane Evans battled great physical challenge to continue serving the constituents and the veterans who meant the world to him, and we should all salute his courage and conviction as he continues to wage his fight against Parkinson’s disease. Service to country has been a way of life for this man who served his country nobly during the Vietnam War and then devoted his life to protecting the rights of his fellow veterans. Whether he was working to compensate the victims of Agent Orange, defending against cuts to veterans’ healthcare or fighting for increased benefits for military families, Lane has been a champion for all who wear the uniform of our country. Now Lane continues in a different kind of battle, one I know he fights with the same grace and courage he’s shown in the Marine Corps and in the United States Congress. Teresa and I will be thinking of Lane during this difficult time.”