Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Christine Eady Mann re-entered the race in October and will face Democratic rival M.J. Hegar in a runoff election on May 22.
Dr. Christine Eady Mann, the first Democratic candidate to officially announce a bid for the 31st District Congressional seat in the 2018 elections, said Sunday July 23 she is suspending her campaign indefinitely.
She re-entered the race on October 16, 2017.
Mann had suspended her campaign in July, citing health reasons.
"I am deeply saddened to announce the suspension of my campaign for Congress, effective immediately," Mann said on July 23. “As of now, my campaign is suspended and on hold. I will make a final decision over the next few months."
Mann, a Cedar Park family physician and a longtime Democratic activist with a record of fighting for women's rights, said she is struggling with ulcerative colitis, a disease she has been battling off and on since she was a girl.
"Unlike many people with this illness, once it was under control, I enjoyed many symptom-free years, with only occasional problems," Mann said. "A few weeks ago, the symptoms returned. I had hoped that they would improve quickly so that I could continue my campaign. Unfortunately, that did not happen."
Mann said the last time her illness flared up, she was sick for more than a year and now she is concerned about whether her health will allow her the time and energy required to campaign and to represent the 31st District, if she is successful.
"I am so thankful and exceedingly grateful for all of the time, effort and support people have given to me," Mann said Sunday. "It is very difficult to walk away from that. But I must put my time and energy into my health, my family, and my job."
The suspension of Mann's campaign left three current Democratic challengers for the congressional seat currently held by Republican incumbent John Rice Carter, a former Williamson County Judge who was first elected 14 years ago.
Mann and M.J. Hegar will face each other in a runoff election on May 22 for the Democratic nomination, with the winner facing incumbent Republican John Carter in November.