One of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill is calling it quits.
According to the Washington Examiner, U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) announced he will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming midterms.
“Brutally hard primary”
In his statement, the lawmaker said the primary reason for his decision is that it has become too burdensome to live in D.C. and Cleveland. Plenty of his critics, however, are speculating that there is likely more to the story.
Gonzalez himself has admitted that his vote to impeach Trump hurt him politically, acknowledging that he would face a “brutally hard primary” if he launched a re-election campaign.
Earlier this year, the former president endorsed Max Miller, a former White House adviser currently running for the seat now occupied by Gonzalez.
“Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a great job at the White House and will be a fantastic Congressman,” Trump stated in February of the GOP primary candidate. “He is a Marine Veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT.”
As for the incumbent, Trump was also outspoken in his opinion, asserting: “Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart. Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
“Lack of response”
Gonzalez was generally supportive of Trump and his policies until the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In particular, he took issue with the administration’s perceived “lack of response” as the riot was taking place. He subsequently joined a handful of other Republican lawmakers in voting to impeach the former president.
Since then, he has spoken out against Trump despite the apparent toll it has taken on his political popularity. Gonzalez even inserted his anti-Trump narrative into his latest announcement, signaling that he intends to devote his post-Congress attention to ensuring the 45th president never receives a second term.
“I don’t believe that he can ever be president again,” the representative said. “Most of my political energy will be spent working on that exact goal.”
Gonzalez might be dropping out of contention based on the hassles of keeping up two residences, but it appears his anti-Trump rhetoric might have doomed any chance at another term long before he reached his decision.