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Congressman Tom Marino won't be Trump's drug czar after all

He had been widely expected to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania won't be President Trump's drug czar after all.

Rep. Tom Marino, a former district attorney and federal prosecutor from Williamsport who was an early Trump supporter, had appeared poised to be nominated to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Marino said in a statement Wednesday that he had withdrawn from consideration for the post.

"Due to a critical illness in my family, I have, with regret and the utmost respect, informed the White House that I must withdraw my name from consideration for director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy," he said. "I thank the president for the enormous honor of considering me for this lead role in the effort to address one of the most pressing issues facing our nation and my state today: the opioid epidemic. I will remain in Congress and continue to support President Trump in whatever way I can."

U.S. News and World Report first reported Wednesday that the president would not nominate Marino for the job.

His potential nomination had been somewhat controversial, drawing criticism from the drug-treatment community, marijuana activists, and advocates for patients' rights. Questions about his conduct as a prosecutor had also surfaced.

Marino's 10th District covers parts of the central and northeastern sections of the state. His appointment could have prompted a frenzied special election for the seat.