Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump over the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, has decided not to seek reelection, citing in part the “toxic dynamics” within the GOP.
Mr. Gonzalez, a former National Football League player, represents the 16th Congressional District in northeastern Ohio. He is the first Latino to represent Ohio on Capitol Hill.
The 36-year-old said he spoke to his wife, Elizabeth, and they decided it would be best to focus on their two children and the “increasing responsibilities” of parenthood.
Mr. Gonzalez was poised to face Max Miller in a GOP primary. Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Miller, a former aide, as part of an effort to punish those who held him to account for firing up supporters with unproven claims about the presidential election ahead of the Jan. 6 attack.
The Ohio Republican Party also censured Mr. Gonzalez in May over his impeachment vote.
“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,” Mr. Gonzalez said.
He told supporters that they provided his family with “tremendous strength and courage in the face of much adversity” this year.
The departing congressman told The New York Times that Mr. Trump is a “cancer for the country” and a threat to democracy. He said he would work to prevent Mr. Trump from being reelected to the presidency as some corners of the GOP continue to embrace him.
“This is the direction that we’re going to go in for the next two years and potentially four, and it’s going to make Trump the center of fund-raising efforts and political outreach,” Mr. Gonzalez told the newspaper. “That’s not something I’m going to be part of.”
Mr. Trump gloated over Mr. Gonzalez‘s decision.
He said the congressman “decided to quit after enduring a tremendous loss of popularity, of which he had little, since his ill-informed and otherwise very stupid impeachment vote against the sitting President of the United States, me.”