State Watch

Ohio GOP censures Republican lawmaker over Trump

The Ohio Republican Party’s central committee voted Friday to censure Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and call for his resignation over his vote to impeach former President Trump for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Paduchik told The Hill in a statement that the resolution “addresses an unconstitutional, politically motivated process that served no purpose.”

“Republicans and Democratic members alike have the right to vote in any way they so choose. This committee also has a right to stand on principle and conviction,” Paduchik said.

Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol riot, which sought to disrupt the certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory.

He issued a statement at the time saying in part that “when I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the president’s lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment.”

The censure comes amid a broader debate surrounding Trump’s influence on the party, in particular his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, now that he’s no longer in office.

Gonzalez is facing a primary challenge from former Trump aide Max Miller, whom Trump has endorsed. The former president won Ohio in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.

In statement to The Hill, Miller said the party “has rightly voted to hold Anthony Gonzalez accountable for abandoning his constituents, his promises and the Republican Party.”

“Regardless if he resigns or not we are going to continue spreading our strong, pro-Trump, America First message to every corner of this district,” Miller said.

In the censure, which was published by Cleveland.com, the party said Gonzalez “betrayed his constituents” and “relied on emotions rather than the will of his constituents and any credible facts.”

The Hill has reached out to Gonzalez for comment.

The move comes amid an effort by House Republicans to replace Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) over her criticisms of the former president. Cheney previously survived an attempt from Trump loyalists to oust her for voting to impeach Trump.

Gonzalez, who supported Cheney the first time, has told The Hill that he will do so again.

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit,” Gonzalez said. 

“Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case,” he continued.

Tags 2020 2020 election Anthony Gonzalez Capitol breach Capitol insurrection Capitol riot Donald Trump Donald Trump Impeachment Joe Biden Liz Cheney Ohio Ohio Republican Party

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