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U.S. Rep. Grijalva, top Democrat on House Natural Resources, diagnosed with cancer

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U.S. Rep. Grijalva, top Democrat on House Natural Resources, diagnosed with cancer

Apr 02, 2024 | 4:16 pm ET
By Jacob Fischler
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U.S. Rep. Grijalva, top Democrat on House Natural Resources, diagnosed with cancer
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Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., said Tuesday, April 2, 2024, that he has been diagnosed with cancer. In this photo, Grijalva speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol regarding the separation of immigrant children on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat in his 11th term representing Arizona, has cancer, he said in a statement Tuesday.

Grijalva, the longtime top Democrat on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, did not provide details of his future plans, but said his office remains open as he works “hard to get healthy and return to business as usual as soon as I am able.”

“My congressional office remains open and the many services we provide for our constituents continue uninterrupted,” the statement read. He represents the 7th Congressional District in Arizona.

“I am in regular communication with my staff and I continue to work as I undergo treatment. It is a privilege to serve as a Representative for the people of Arizona and I take this responsibility very seriously.”

Grijalva, 76, said he sought medical treatment “a few weeks ago” for a persistent cough that was initially diagnosed as pneumonia. Further imaging revealed he had cancer, he said.

His medical team has developed a “vigorous course of treatment,” he added.

Grijalva filed for reelection last month. He is the only candidate in the Democratic primary on July 30. The deadline for candidates to file was Monday.

Grijalva has led Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee, which oversees environment, energy and climate-related issues, since 2015, including two terms as chair from 2019 to 2022.

He was also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest group of progressive Democrats in the House, and was the first member of Congress to endorse Vermont independent Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016.