Morning Read: Former North Country congressman Sweeney opens up

Remember back in 2000 when Republicans shook their fists in Florida, opposing a recount of presidential ballots.  John Sweeney was there.

George W. Bush would later dub John Sweeney — who represented a big swath of the North Country — “Congressman Kick-Ass.”

But Sweeney’s world began to unravel publicly shortly before he lost his 20th district seat to Kirsten Gillibrand in 2006, and for the first time he’s talking about the directions his life has taken since.

Here’s what he told the Albany Times-Union.

“Losing a seat in Congress wasn’t my biggest loss,” the four-term representative of the 20th District, first elected in 1998, said Friday.

“It was the loss of myself and the loss of everything that went with it, the harm and hurt I created for people around me who I love and love me. At the end of the day, in a very ironic way, it’s what saved me,” he said.

“You decide to live or die. What made me want to live was my kids.”

In their profile, the Times-Union asks Sweeney — still only 55 years old — about his alcoholism, his time behind bars on DUI charges, and his work now for a Catholic social service agency.


2 Comments on “Morning Read: Former North Country congressman Sweeney opens up”

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  1. Bret4207 says:

    Anytime you see someone rise, fall and then pick himself up and some out better for it, it gives you a bit of hope. Imus, Robert Downey Jr, Rush, Glenn Beck to a lesser extent, all made it through. Meanwhile people like Charlie Sheen or this Lohan girl are apparently on a course with death like Elvis, Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, Kurt Cobain and dozens of others. Sad what success does to people.

  2. Brian says:

    I hope he’s found his way as a human being. Good luck to him.

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