(USA Features) Former President Donald Trump took a victory lap of sorts after an Ohio Republican who was one of 10 House GOP members to vote earlier this year to impeach him has said he won’t run again next year.
Trump took a verbal shot at Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who decided it was better to bow out than face what may likely have been an uphill battle against a GOP primary challenger the former president has backed.
“RINO Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who has poorly represented his district in the Great State of Ohio, has 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,” Trump said in a statement issued by his PAC.
The former president has been handing out endorsements to various Republican candidates since leaving office, but he has especially concentrated on those Republicans who voted to impeach him, to include Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s former No. 3 leader.
“Gonzalez, 36, is the first of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to bring their congressional careers to a close,” Politico reported.
“Gonzalez told The New York Times, which first reported his retirement plans Thursday, that the animus he and his family has faced from Trump’s fervent supporters played a role in his decision,” the outlet continued.
“Politically the environment is so toxic, especially in our own party right now,” he said. “You can fight your butt off and win this thing, but are you really going to be happy? And the answer is, probably not.”
Trump has endorsed former White House aide Max Miller, who had announced his candidacy against Gonzales. That said, Ohio, as are all states, is currently in the process of redrawing congressional districts following the 2020 Census.
“This is no loss for Ohio or our Country and, most importantly, we have a great candidate who was substantially leading Gonzalez in the polls, Max Miller, who I have given my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump said in his statement.
Ohio is set to lose one of its 16 congressional districts, Politico added.