A number of Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump earlier this year have found that their actions have not gone over well among their constituents or party leaders back home.
The latest elected official to suffer political repercussions is U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who was formally censured and asked to resign on Friday by the Ohio Republican Party’s central committee, according to reports.
Gonzalez, a former college and NFL football star, is currently serving his second term in the House and was one of just 10 GOP colleagues who voted to impeach Trump in the aftermath of January’s violent riot on Capitol Hill.
According to WCMH, state party leaders issued two resolutions meant to reprimand him for his decision.
The first, which passed with a near-unanimous vote, formally censured Gonzalez and the nine other Republicans who voted alongside him. That resolution chided the legislators for supporting the “meritless, unprecedented, unconstitutional and purposeless” effort to hold the former president accountable for the actions of some of his supporters.
The second motion passed by a narrow margin and called on Gonzalez to resign from his congressional seat based on the belief that he “betrayed” his constituents and relied on his “emotions” instead of “credible facts” related to the riot.
Furthermore, the resolution suggested that he had a “hidden vendetta” against Trump and that his “misplaced blame” was “misguided and antithetical” to the will of the people and his party.
“Principle and conviction”
As Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Paduchik explained in a statement, the party’s move “addresses an unconstitutional, politically motivated process that served no purpose.”
He went on to acknowledge that elected officials in any party “have the right to vote in any way they so choose,” but his committee “also has a right to stand on principle and conviction.”
— Jeremy Pelzer (@jpelzer) May 7, 2021
Of course, Gonzalez is not alone in facing backlash from his own party in the wake of the impeachment vote.
Most notably, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WI) was censured by her state’s GOP. She has subsequently faced a concerted effort among House Republicans to oust her from an influential post as the chair of the Republican conference.