Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva Announces That He Has Cancer

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona announced on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Grijalva has served in Congress since 2003, representing Arizona’s 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Maricopa County and Tuscon as well as most of the state’s border with Mexico. Grijalva announced on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with cancer after a medical check-up for pneumonia following a persistent cough, according to a statement published on his congressional website. (RELATED: House GOP’s Majority Will Temporarily Drop To 1 Seat Following Steve Scalise’s Cancer Treatment)

“This diagnosis has been difficult to process, but I am confident in the vigorous course of treatment that my medical team has developed, and I’ve begun my journey to fight this cancer,” Grijalva wrote in the statement. “My congressional office remains open and the many services we provide for our constituents continue uninterrupted. I am in regular communication with my staff and I continue to work as I undergo treatment.”

Grijalva has long been a left-wing voice in Congress, having co-chaired the Congressional Progressive Caucus for ten years from 2009 to 2019. In the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, Grijalva endorsed then-Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and, in 2020’s primary, endorsed Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — both of whom ran left-wing campaigns.

It is unclear whether Grijalva, aged 76, will take a leave of absence from his congressional duties in Washington, D.C., which would preclude him from voting for measures on the floor of the House after Republicans repealed proxy voting in 2023. Should Grijalva be absent, it may significantly affect whether the House Republican majority can pass legislation, given the narrow majority due to present vacancies, planned resignations and the possibility of some GOP members voting against the Conference’s position.

Grijalva is the second member of the 118th Congress to be publicly diagnosed with cancer. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise was diagnosed with myeloma, a blood cancer, on Aug. 29, 2023, which led him to take a leave of absence from the House in January for treatment.

“My heart goes out to others struggling with cancer, and I wish everyone strength in their fight,” Grijalva added as he concluded his statement.

Grijalva and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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