A Democratic nominee for Congress in Oklahoma has ended her campaign a month after she apologized for verbally abusing children who were attending a sleepover at a friend’s house.
The nominee, Abby Broyles, a former investigative television reporter who ran a failed US Senate campaign in 2020, said she was ending her bid to represent Oklahoma’s fifth congressional district “to focus on myself and my happiness,” according to a Medium. -post published Thursday.
In the essay, Ms. Broyles, 32, described how she “reached the bottom” after the lodging incident last month.
She described being in the emergency room on March 2, less than two weeks after the apology.
“I was drinking heavily in my hotel room over 1,300 miles away in an attempt to hide and taking sleeping pills, aching in pain as I read about myself on social media and in tabloid magazines,” she wrote.
Ms. Broyles also said that she “has struggled with mental health issues, including self-esteem, severe anxiety and insomnia for about 20 years.”
Ms Broyles, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday, said she cannot remember what happened during the Feb 11 sleepover that involved mixing alcohol and sleeping medication. About eight girls, ages 12 and 13, attended the sleepover, where they watched the movie “Titanic,” according to NonDoc Media, a nonprofit journalism organization based in Oklahoma.
When NonDoc Media first reached out to her for comment, Ms. Broyles seemed to deny she was at the party. After a TikTok video showed otherwise, she gave an interview to KFOR-TV, an Oklahoma City station where she once worked.
In the interview, Ms. Broyles said she had “blacked out” after drinking wine and taking sleep medications. She said her friend, who hosted the sleepover, had given her medicines she had never taken before.
After the sleepover made headlines nationwide, Ms Broyles said she had received death threats and been harassed by online trolls. She also wrote that she had lost the support of Democratic leaders. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which Ms Broyles said was “announcing its disengagement” from her after the episode, did not immediately return a phone call on Thursday seeking comment.
“The news cycle was the longest nine days of my life,” she continued. “I didn’t even feel safe staying in my own house because of the threats I got.”
Alone in a hotel room this month, Ms Broyles was overwhelmed with self-doubt, she said in the post. “Surrounded by empty bottles of wine and liquor, I stared at the dark circles under my eyes in the bathroom mirror, and this time I wasn’t just telling myself I wasn’t good enough,” she wrote. “This time I told myself I was done.”
“I can’t remember what I’ve been drinking until I sent some suicidal text messages to close friends and tweeted, ‘You win. I’m just going to kill myself,'” she continued. “I blacked out and woke up on a stretcher.”
Ms. Broyles was seeking her party’s nomination in June to face Representative Stephanie Bice, the incumbent Republican serving her first term. In 2020, Ms. Broyles ran to oust Senator James Inhofe, a Republican.
Near the end of her statement, Ms. Broyles said she had recently checked into a rehab facility.
She said she shared her story ‘because I should have sought help sooner, and if you are suffering, please know that help is there. Unfortunately, I had to hit rock bottom to realize it.”
If you have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.