The Iowa Democratic Party’s 33-year-old chairman today announced he has a chronic pain condition that will require radiation treatments and he’s resigned from the job he won earlier this year.
Derek Eadon was elected chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party in January. He issued a writen statement, saying he has been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, “a painful, but non-lethal ailment that required radiation procedures over the summer.” According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, the condition affects a nerve that “carries sensation from your face to your brain” and just “brushing your teeth…may trigger of jolt of excruciating pain.”
Eadon said “with a heavy heart,” he has resigned as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party immediately, saying it’s important for Democrats to have a chair who “can dedicate all of his or her time” to the effect to elect Democrats and it’s clear he’s not able to because of his condition.
Eadon, who lives in West Des Moines, worked on Barack Obama’s Iowa campaigns in 2008 and 2012. He had worked as a political consultant after that, but promised in January to give up his contracts and work full-time as Iowa Democratic Party chairman.
The Iowa Democratic Party’s top leader now is Andrea Phillips of Ankeny. She was elected “first vice chair” of the party in January.
Statements released this morning:
Today, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Derek Eadon resigned and issued the following statement:
“Today, with a heavy heart, I am announcing my resignation as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. In recent months, I have been dealing with health issues, and missing too much time on the job. Recently, I have been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, a painful but non-lethal ailment that requires radiation procedures over the summer. Very shortly I will be back on my feet and knocking doors for Democrats. It is important that this party has a Chair that can dedicate all of his or her time to this effort, and it is clear that I am not able to.
This is going to be an outstanding election for Iowa Democrats, and whoever is elected as the new Chair on July 22nd will be inheriting a great team, a solid amount of cash on hand, and fantastic candidates. I look forward to being helpful to the party in this transition, and most importantly wish everyone the best of luck. Thank you to the State Central Committee and other Democrats across the state for supporting me. The last five months have shown me just how strong this party is. I will be taking some much needed time off, and I am excited to see what Democrats can do this election.”
Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann on IDP Chair Eadon’s Resignation:
“I’m terribly sorry to hear about Chairman Eadon resigning. Derek is a happy warrior who is incredibly committed to his cause, and he worked hard to keep Iowa’s status as the “First in the Nation” state. Making the decision to step away from his passion in order to focus on his health is a difficult choice, but the right one. He and his family are in my prayers and I’m pulling for him to be back to full health and back on the political playing field as soon as possible.” – Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann