Ohio House Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't run for re-election

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Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez who voted to impeach Donald Trump as president following the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol announced he will not run for re-election, saying he wishes to have a fuller family life and that the current political climate contributed to his decision.

The former NFL wide receiver announced he would not seek a second term in a statement published to Twitter on Thursday, thanking his "diligent and thoughtful staff" for their work and his supporters.

"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.

Gonzalez, who assumed office in 2019 following a five-year career in the NFL, is one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 "insurrection" when thousands of his supporters stormed the building in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

In a statement explaining the reasoning behind his vote, Gonzalez accused Trump of helping to organize and incite the mob that attacked the building "in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties."

Five people died during the attack and some 140 law enforcement were injured. The Justice Department has since charged hundreds over their participation and has asked the public for help identifying more.

"When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the president's lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment," he said.

In May, the Ohio Republican Party voted to censure Gonzalez and called on him to resign over his vote, CNN reported. The next month, Trump held his first rally since leaving office in Cleveland where he called Gonzalez a "disgrace to your state" and a Republican in name only while campaigning for former White House aide Max Miller, who is running for Gonzalez's House seat.

Other Republicans who voted for impeachment have met backlash from their party, most notably Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.

In February, the Wyoming Republican Party voted to censure her over her vote. In May, House Republicans ousted her from her position as the third highest-ranking member of the party. And in August, three Wyoming counties voted to symbolically not recognizer her as a Republican.

Following Gonzalez's announcement on Thursday, the Strongsville GOP, which had called from him to be removed, said its members should "stand tall today knowing their hard work contributed significantly to his departure from the race."

Shannon Burns, president of the group, said Gonzalez "betrayed" his constituents when he voted to impeach Trump.

"The members of Strongsville GOP were steadfast in their opposition to Anthony Gonzalez after he voted to impeach our sitting president with no proof and no due process," she said in a statement. "In the end, Congressman Gonzalez realized that without the support of the base of the party represented by Strongsville GOP and in the face of the Trump endorsement of Max Miller, he had no pathway to victory in the Republican Primary."

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