Rep. Anthony Gonzalez dropped his reelection bid. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Meijer and other House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump are running to defend their seats.
WASHINGTON— Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, announced he will not seek reelection next fall.
Gonzalez said the current state of politics and the “toxic dynamics” of the Republican Party played a factor in his decision.
“1 down, 9 to go,” Trump said in a statement on his website the day Gonzalez made his announcement.
The 10 GOP members voted to impeach Trump on a charge he incited the insurrection on Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol during the electoral vote count that certified the results of the 2020 election. The House approved the impeachment charge, but the Senate acquitted Trump in the president’s second impeachment trial of his term.
Trump, who vowed revenge on those who voted to impeach him, previously endorsed Gonzalez’s opponent, Max Miller, a former Trump White House aide. In addition to Gonzalez’s opponent, Trump has endorsed primary Republican challengers in three of the other nine races.
The success or failure of the 10 GOP members in the 2022 midterms could show whether the Republican party has moved on from Trump or whether he has enough sway to end the political careers of those who cross him.
Here is where the nine other candidates stand ahead of the 2022 midterms:
Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.
Voters reelected Katko, who represents the Syracuse area, to his fourth term last fall just months before the Republican would vote to impeach Trump.
Members from the Republican Party in Onondaga County, within Katko’s district, revoked their support for Katko following his vote for impeachment.
The Post-Standard reported Trump wrote a handwritten letter to Conservative Party President Bernard Ment on a printed article about the party revoking its support.
Trump wrote it was a “great move” by the party and that Katko will never win again, adding, “I won big in that area. Will help with campaign find a great candidate,” the Post-Standard reported.
Trump also told radio host John Fredericks that he would work to stop House Republicans from raising money for the reelection of Katko and the other Republicans who voted for impeachment.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s joint fundraising committee Take Back the House 2022 has raised funds for Katko’s campaign and four other Republicans who voted for impeachment, CNN reported.
Trump told Fredericks he would see who McCarthy is funding and “stop the whole deal.”
Katko told The Post-Standard’s editorial board on Sept. 16 that he will not back down to Trump’s political threats.
“There’s no question about it. I don’t think he should be our leader going forward. I obviously made that pretty clear,” he said of Trump.
Katko’s only Republican challenger is John Murtari, who recently announced he will run for office and is planning to challenge Katko if redistricting doesn’t change his district.
Murtari told the Finger Lake Times he previously voted for Katko and even contributed to his campaign, but felt betrayed when Katko voted to impeach Trump.
“I’ve got to challenge that guy,” he said of Katko.
Katko has raised around $920,000 for the 2021-22 election cycle, according to government watchdog organization OpenSecrets.
However, CNBC reported Katko has not ruled out running for governor next year, after calling for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
Upton has served in the House since first elected in 1986 and represents southwest Michigan. Six other Republicans have filed for candidacy for Upton’s seat, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Upton said in his statement about his impeachment vote in January that Congress needs to send a clear message that efforts by any president to impede the peaceful transfer of power will not be tolerated. He said Trump must be held accountable.
Trump in September endorsed current Michigan state Rep. Steve Carra in his bid to unseat Upton.
“It is my great honor to endorse Michigan state representative Steve Carra to oppose RINO Congressman Fred Upton,” Trump said in an online statement, referring to “Republicans in name only.”
Carra described Upton as a “go along to get along politician” and said the final straw was when he turned his back on Trump and voted for the “baseless impeachment scam,” according to his campaign website.
Upton spokesperson Billy Fuerst told The Detroit News that voters are aware of Upton’s record of rebuilding Michigan’s infrastructure, lowering taxes, securing the border and evacuating Americans and allies out of Afghanistan.
It is unclear if Upton will be running for reelection in 2022. He has raised over $600,000 for the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets. The “Take Back the House 2022” joint fundraising committee has also raised funds for Upton for All of Us, Upton’s political action committee.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
Herrera Beutler has served the southwest corner of Washington since 2010. She faced backlash for her impeachment vote from constituents, conservative organizations and GOP donors.
Herrera Beutler became a key player in the impeachment trial after backing up reports about a phone call between Trump and McCarthy on Jan. 6.
She said Trump seemed unconcerned about the riot and initially blamed the attack on leftist members of “antifa” during the phone call. McCarthy ensured the former president those who breached the Capitol were his supporters.
“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said during the call, according to Herrera Beutler.
Herrera Beutler filed for candidacy for 2022. Four Republicans also declared candidacy with the FEC and plan to run for her seat. All are first-time candidates.
One challenger, Joe Kent, received Trump’s endorsement on Sept. 1. Kent is a retired U.S. Special Forces officer.
“In Congress, Joe will be a warrior for the America First agenda, unlike Jaime Herrera Beutler who voted, despite the facts, against the Republican Party and for the Democrat’s impeachment scam,” Trump said.
Kent said Herrera Beutler betrayed her district by voting to impeach Trump.
OpenSecrets reports Herrera Beutler has raised $1.2 million for the 2021-2022 election cycle. She also receives funds from McCarthy’s joint fundraising committee.
Kent has raised over $600,000.
A spokesperson for Herrera Beutler told Reuters that Herrera Beutler is “still a Republican and a conservative and she’s not going anywhere.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
Kinzinger responded to Gonzalez’s decision to not seek reelection in a video posted to Twitter.
“Now the pundits and politicos are discussing whether this means that Trump won, so let me answer this question. Yes, as of now, Trump is winning,” he said. “Not because Anthony [Gonzalez] decided not to run, but because so many in the Republican party decided to stay silent.”
Kinzinger said his GOP colleagues watched from the sidelines and lacked the courage to speak out following the events from Jan. 6.
“The future of the party and politics in this country doesn’t rest on the 10 of us. It rests on the courage of the 180 others who have been silent so far. To my GOP colleagues, the time is now to speak up,” he added.
Kinzinger, who represents northern Illinois, is one of two Republicans to serve on the bipartisan Jan. 6 committee to investigate the attack on the Capitol.
In a New York Times guest essay, Kinzinger said he is on the commission to get answers to questions about misinformation campaigns, lies perpetuated by Trump and other leaders and investigate the motivations of those who stormed the Capitol.
Kinzinger has been a consistent critic of Trump, most recently calling him a “snowflake” and “one of the weakest men I’ve ever seen” on CNN following the former president’s response to President George W. Bush’s 9/11 speech on violent extremism.
Kinzinger has raised nearly $1.9 million for the 2021-2022 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets. However, Politico reported a new congressional map may eliminate Kinzinger’s district. That could leave Kinzinger with the option to face an incumbent in a different district.
Despite reports the district may be eliminated, seven other Republican challengers have filed with the FEC to run for Kinzinger’s seat.
One challenger, Catalina Lauf, is a former Department of Commerce advisor under Trump. She received the endorsement of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., in July. Lauf unsuccessfully ran for a Congress seat in 2020.
In a social media video announcing her campaign, Lauf called Kinzinger a “weak-kneed, establishment Republican who cares more about his next MSNBC appearance than the voters who elected him.”
Lauf has raised over $350,000 for the 2021-2022 election cycle.
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R- Wash.
Newhouse represents a large area of central Washington that stretches from the Canadian border to Oregon. He also faced backlash in his home state from GOP and party chairs over voting for impeachment.
Six Republican county leaders in Newhouse’s district called for his resignation after he voted to impeach Trump.
Newhouse said in a statement announcing his decision to vote for impeachment that Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.
“A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation’s capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump’s inaction,” he said.
Newhouse faces four Republican candidates in the 2022 election.
Small business owner Corey Gibson announced he decided to run for office to unseat Newhouse. He said his motivation to seek office stems from Newhouse’s decision to vote for Trump’s impeachment.
Gibson pledged to donate 10% of his salary to support the district’s law enforcement and pledged to only vote for legislation that supports “America First” principles, according to his campaign website. He also said if given the opportunity, he will vote to impeach Biden over the southern border and Afghanistan.
State Rep. Brad Klippert also announced a campaign against Newhouse. Klippert has represented a district in western Washington since 2008. Former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp is also aiming for Newhouse’s seat in 2022.
“Newhouse voted with the socialists to impeach one of the greatest presidents of my lifetime,” Culp, a former police officer, said.
The final challenger is Jerrod Sessler.
Trump has not backed a challenger in the race.
Rep. Tom Rice, R- S.C.
Rice, who represents northeastern South Carolina, acknowledged last January that his decision to vote to impeach Trump could cost him reelection.
“I have backed this president through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But this utter failure is inexcusable,” Rice said in his impeachment statement.
The South Carolina Republican Party voted to formally censure Rice for his decision to vote in support of impeachment.
Rice is now facing a dozen Republican challengers to keep his seat in next year’s midterms. Trump has not yet backed a candidate.
One challenger, combat veteran Graham Allen, said Rice betrayed voters’ confidence when he “caved to the far-left mob.”
“Tom Rice abandoned his duty to represent the conscience of the voters of his district when he sided with Nancy Pelosi to support the sham impeachment of President Donald J. Trump,” Allen said in a statement on his website.
Rice raised the most money out of any of his challengers so far in the campaign cycle, reaching $720,000. He is followed closely behind by Allen, who raised $500,000 as of June 30, according to OpenSecrets.
Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich.
Meijer, a freshman member in the House who represents the Grand Rapids area, voted to impeach Trump last January and tweeted that Trump is responsible for inciting the insurrection and “betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process.”
Meijer told The Detroit Free Press in January that voting for impeachment was an act of political suicide.
“But it’s what I felt was necessary for the good of the country, to have accountability in this moment but also to set a path moving forward,” he told the Detroit Free Press, a part of the USA TODAY Network.
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, Meijer faces four Republican challengers. Trump has not made any endorsements in the race.
One challenger, Afghanistan veteran Tom Norton, has criticized Meijer for voting for the creation of a Jan. 6 commission, saying in a statement on his website that Meijer “lashed out with libelous slurs against his own constituency.”
Meijer has raised over $806,000 for the next election and also has received funds from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s “Take Back the House 2022” joint fundraising committee. Norton has raised around $66,000, according to FEC documents.
Rep. David Valadao, R- Calif.
Valadao, who has been representing a district in the San Joaquin Valley since 2012, said Trump was a “driving force” in the events that took place on Jan. 6.
He currently faces three Republican challengers ahead of the midterms.
One opponent, Chris Mathys, is a former Fresno City Council member. Mathys said he believes the election was stolen and that Valadao is “part of the swamp,” the Valley Voice reported.
“I will do everything in my power to defeat Congressman David Valadao who voted to impeach President Trump,” Mathys said in a statement on his website.
Mathys has a “RINO Hunters Club” page on his site. The page described it as a club to vote out the 10 GOP members who voted to impeach Trump. It includes a list and photo for each of the 10 members of Congress with red circles crossed out over their faces.
Trump has not endorsed any of the challengers ahead of the midterms..
Valadao has raised over $800,000 in the first half of 2021. McCarthy’s joint fundraising committee has also raised funds for Valadao’s campaign. Mathys has raised close to $220,000, according to FEC reports.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R- Wyo.
Perhaps no one has received more more backlash to their impeachment vote than Cheney. Like Kinzinger, she has been a critic of Trump and is the only other Republican to serve on the House Jan. 6 committee.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said.
House Republicans decided to remove her from GOP House leadership in May over her criticism of the former president. Cheney had served as the House’s third-ranked Republican. She was replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., a Trump defender.
Seven Republican challengers filed with the FEC to run for Cheney’s seat.
Trump has endorsed attorney Harriet Hageman to unseat Cheney. Hageman was a Republican candidate for governor in 2018 and is a former Cheney supporter.
Trump called Cheney a “disloyal Republican” and a RINO (Republican in name only) in his statement backing Hageman.
Hageman said she is running to represent those living in Wyoming and “take our state back” from big government.
“Liz Cheney cast her lot with the Washington, D.C. elites and those who use their power to further their own agenda at our expense. She doesn’t represent Wyoming and she doesn’t represent conservatives,” Hageman said on her website.
Cheney responded to Trump’s endorsement of Hageman in a Tweet with two words: “Bring it.”
Former President George W. Bush will hold a fundraiser for Cheney next month. She has raised over $3.4 million ahead of the midterms, OpenSecrets reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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