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Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, the Ohio Republican who voted to impeach former President Trump, announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection, citing the “toxic dynamics inside” the Republican Party.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your Member of Congress and I will treasure the remaining months that I have left in office,” he posted. “Looking critically at our record these past few years, I take great pride in the wins that our office achieved. I have always viewed this job as having two critical components: legislation and constituent services. On both, I would put our record up against any other office in the country.”
The Associated Press referred to Gonzalez, who served two terms, as a 36-year-old former professional football player with a “once-bright political future.” The report pointed out that Trump, who apparently did not forget that Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted for his impeachment, endorsed his 2022 opponent, Max Miller, for the seat.
U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) is seen during a House Financial Services Committee oversight hearing to discuss the Treasury Department’s and Federal Reserve’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on December 02, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Trump is still the most influential voice from the Republican Party, according to many political observers.
The report pointed out that the Ohio Republican Party censured him in May over the impeachment vote “in the face of fierce pushback from his party’s conservative wing.”
In February, NBC News reported that his vote may have cost him his House seat and “all but erased his chances to run for an open Senate seat next year.”
While Democrats have clear fissures between the progressive wing of the party and the more conservative wing, the Republican Party is clearly divided between those who see Trump as the best viable candidate in 2024 and the face of the party and those who see him as a political albatross.
The Cleveland Plains Dealer reported that Trump held a Lorain County rally in June to support Miller’s candidacy and called Gonzalez “a grandstanding RINO, not respected in D.C., who voted for the unhinged, unconstitutional impeachment. The witch hunt.”
Gonzalez’s office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News for comment.
“While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my 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,” he said in the Twitter post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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