CLEVELAND — Rep. Anthony Gonzalez — one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol — will not seek re-election to his northern Ohio seat in 2022.
“I have said since I entered politics that I will continue to do this job as long as it works for my family and the voters will allow me to,” Gonzalez stated in a statement, which he tweeted late Thursday .. “As Elizabeth and I consider the realities of continuing in public service while juggling the increasing responsibilities of being parents to our two beautiful children, it is clear that the best path for our family is to not seek re-election next fall.”
He added that, while family was at the heart of his 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.”
A former standout wide receiver at Ohio State University and first-round NFL draft pick, Gonzalez is the first of the pro-impeachment Republicans in Congress to decide against running for another term.
Gonzalez will face a difficult primary against Max Miller who is a former Trump aide and has the endorsement of the former president. Trump visited Ohio this summer to support Miller in his first political rally after leaving office.
Gonzalez was raising less money than Miller . He told The New York Times that he thought he could win and that it was the first to report his decision ,. He said that he could fight his butt and win the race, but that he was not sure if he would be happy. And the answer is, probably not.”
Gonzalez was first elected to represent Ohio’s 16th Congressional District in 2018. Although he was a trusted conservative vote in Congress, he didn’t adhere as closely as other House members. When he first ran for the seat ,, he described Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), another Trump critic in the GOP as his political idol.
Henry J. Gomez is a national politics reporter for NBC News.