(Bloomberg) -- Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, one of 10 House Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Donald Trump, announced he would not seek re-election next year rather than face a primary challenge from an opponent endorsed by the former president.
Gonzalez, 36, cited the increasing responsibilities he and his wife, Elizabeth, face as parents to two children as well as turmoil within the Republican Party for his decision in a statement posted on Twitter.
“While my desire to build a fully 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,” Gonzalez said in the statement.
Gonzalez described Trump as a “cancer for the country” in an interview with the New York Times, where he also faulted his House Republican colleagues for hewing close to the former president. Gonzalez added that most of his political energy would be spent on making sure Trump won’t be president again. He said in his statement that he hopes “the chaotic political environment that currently infects our country will only be temporary.”
Trump had endorsed former White House aide Max Miller to run against Gonzalez in the 2022 GOP primary and has vowed to defeat all the House Republicans who voted to impeach him after the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Gonzalez, a former Ohio State and Indianapolis Colts football player who is now in his second term, voted to impeach Trump over his role in encouraging supporters who marched on Capitol Hill and his response after the insurrection began. Soon after the House impeachment vote, Miller announced that he was running, saying Gonzalez betrayed the “America First” agenda.
During a June 26 rally in Ohio to support Miller’s candidacy, Trump called Gonzalez a “sell-out, he’s a fake Republican and a disgrace to this state.”
Trump has endorsed challengers so far to three other House members, including Harriet Hageman against Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, one of his staunchest Republican critics, and a candidate to oppose Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who voted to convict him after a trial.
(Updates with additional details, from first paragraph.)
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