Third Republican Who Voted To Impeach Trump Now Retiring

Third Republican Who Voted To Impeach Trump Now Retiring

In addition to facing a challenge from Republican Andrew McCarthy, Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) might also have been subject to a difficult reelection battle against a Democrat in November.

Chip Somodevilla/Associated Press

Despite representing a Syracuse-area district won by both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020, Katko had survived spirited efforts by national Democrats to unseat him in 2018 and 2020.

He succeeded by combining standard conservative positions — unlike some other New York Republicans, he voted for Trump’s tax cut bill — with the occasional votes that broke from GOP orthodoxy. He voted against Trump’s effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and for Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Likewise, while Katko stuck with Trump during the House’s 2019 impeachment vote, he broke with the former president after last year’s attack on the Capitol.

“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement following his vote. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action.”

Katko later joined 34 other House Republicans in voting to convene a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.

It’s unclear how much the political blowback Katko experienced from fellow Republicans for voting to impeach Trump figured in his decision to retire. In addition to the primary challenge, the Onondaga County branch of New York’s Conservative Party, which often backs Republican nominees, had announced in April that it wouldn’t be endorsing Katko this time around.

The symbolism is nonetheless unmistakable. Of the small group of Republicans who turned on Trump after the Capitol riot, Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) have also already announced plans to step down.

Gonzalez, who announced his decision in November, was facing a primary challenge from Trump-backed Republican Max Miller.

And Kinzinger, who revealed his plans to retire in October, faced a challenge from pro-Trump Republican Catalina Lauf. Democrats’ decision to draw him into an intra-district contest with fellow Illinois Republican Rep. Darin LaHood was likely just as pivotal in his decision to retire.

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