Teresa Montseny, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. 7th District Congressional seat in Southwest Missouri, is stepping down just weeks before the election, her campaign announced Saturday.

“I regretfully resign from my race against Billy Long. My health is declining, and family issues compel me to step down," Montseny said in a statement sent by Angela Allen, a spokesperson for her campaign.

Because the election is Nov. 3, Montseny's name will remain on the ballot.

"If she were to win, she would not be able to serve," Allen said. "I know she is just devastated. She feels that she is letting people down."

Republican Billy Long, of Springfield, has held the seat since he was first elected in 2010. In 2018, he received 196,343 votes, or 66.2%, compared with 89,190, or 30.1% for Jamie Schoolcraft, the Democrat. A Libertarian candidate, Benjamin Brixey, received 10,920 votes, or 3.7%.

Libertarian Kevin Craig, of Powersite, is also on the 2020 ballot.

The district has not sent a Democrat to Washington, D.C., since 1960, when Charles Brown was elected, but should Montseny win, whoever is elected Missouri governor — incumbent Republican Mike Parson or Democrat Nicole Galloway — would appoint a replacement.

Sam Smith, executive director of the Greene County Democratic Committee, said in a statement:

“We wish Ms. Montseny well and are sad to hear of her resignation from campaigning. With the loss of our nominee for Congress, we are more focused than ever on the multiple competitive races that we have up and down the ballot here in Greene County.”

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