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Ohio GOP Rep Who Voted For 2nd Impeachment Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2022

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez was one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time for inciting the January 6th riot on the Capitol. Despite his willingness to do the right thing then, Gonzalez has now decided to not seek re-election to his northern Ohio seat in 2022.

A former standout wide receiver at Ohio State University and first-round NFL draft pick, Gonzalez is the first of the ten pro-impeachment Republicans in Congress to decide against running for another term. Gonzalez was first elected to represent Ohio’s 16th Congressional District in 2018. He had been a reliable conservative vote in the House but didn’t vote with Trump as often as others. When first running for the seat, he described Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, another Trump critic within the GOP, as his political idol.

“Since entering politics, I have always said that I will do this job for as long as the voters will have me and it still works for my family,” Gonzalez said in a statement he tweeted late Thursday. “As Elizabeth and I consider the realities of continuing in public service while juggling the increasing responsibilities of being parents to our two beautiful children, it is clear that the best path for our family is to not seek re-election next fall.” He added that, while his family was at the heart of his decision, “it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision.”

 

Trump, in a Friday morning statement, bid “good riddance” to Gonzalez, whom he called a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and chastised “his ill-informed and otherwise very stupid impeachment vote.” Trump also suggested Gonzalez would land a job as a cable news commentator.

Another Republican who voted for impeachment, Jaime Herrera Beutler, is being primaried by two MAGA challengers, Heidi St. John and Joe Kent, but only Kent has received the all-powerful Trump endorsement. These challengers are already pushing the narrative that they won’t accept the next election results and plan to either call for audits or demand recounts.

Gonzalez was facing a tough primary against Max Miller, a former Trump aide from the Cleveland area who has his former boss’s endorsement. Trump came to Ohio to campaign for Miller this summer and staged his first political rally since leaving office to make it official. Gonzalez had been raising more money than Miller and told The New York Times that he believed he could have won, but ultimately chose his emotional health and his family over his political career. “You can fight your butt off and win this thing,” he told the newspaper, “but are you really going to be happy? And the answer is, probably not.”



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