Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 US House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump in January, said on Thursday he would seek re-election, citing the “toxic” atmosphere at the party that has been mesmerized by the former president. Won’t demand
The two-term back-bencher from Ohio insisted that family considerations played an important role in his decision, but acknowledged the difficult political landscape, one in which he faced the next year’s Trump-backed primary challenge. .
“While my desire to build a fulfilling family life is central to my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially the many toxic dynamics within our own party, is a significant factor in my decision.” He said in a statement.
Gonzalez was more blunt in an interview on Thursday new York Times, slammed Trump as “a cancer to the country” for prompting his supporters to launch a US Capitol riot on January 6.
“I don’t believe he can ever be president again,” he told the daily.
Gonzalez, a 36-year-old conservative, is the first of House Republicans to vote to retire rather than impeach Trump in what is undoubtedly a brutal season of primaries ahead.
Trump, who remains hugely influential in the party, has made it clear that he will work tirelessly to help defeat Republicans who have sought to oust him.
They include Liz Cheney, who lost her House Republican leadership position when she refused to downplay criticism of the former president.
Trump has already declared his support for Max Miller, a former Trump ally, running for the seat of Gonzalez.
Several House Democrats tweeted their appreciation for Gonzalez after his announcement.
He and other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are “paying a price for doing the right thing,” Congressman Brendan Boyle said. “But they will be justified by history.”