Ohio GOP will discuss possible censure of Rep. Anthony Gonzalez for impeaching Trump

·2 min read
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Republican Party's governing body will discuss whether Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and nine other members of Congress should be censured for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump at a Friday meeting.

The public admonishment of a sitting Republican congressman would demonstrate how far the Ohio Republican Party is willing to go to support Trump. The governing body installed former Trump Ohio campaign manager Bob Paduchik as chairman in February.

Gonzalez, of Rocky River, is facing a primary challenge from Max Miller, a former Trump aide who has the backing of the former president. Gonzalez, a former Ohio State University and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, is one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.

"The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution," Gonzalez said in a statement about his vote.

Miller, in a tweet, said that Gonzalez "put himself and the socialists ahead of the Republican Party, our conservative movement, and the voters of his district. It is right for him to be held accountable by the Ohio GOP and come election day, he will be held accountable by the people of this district."

In the weeks since his vote, Gonzalez has become a flashpoint in the U.S. Senate race as candidates try to align themselves with Trump. Former Ohio GOP leader Jane Timken initially defended Gonzalez, calling him an effective legislator and good person. She later called on him to resign.

On Tuesday, Cleveland businessman and Senate candidate Bernie Moreno blamed Timken for the Ohio GOP not censuring Gonzalez sooner.

"The Party is unified behind the policy victories of Donald J. Trump!" Moreno said in a statement. "Elected officials need to actually represent the people they serve, and there are consequences when they do not."

Gonzalez has had his defenders, including Sen. Rob Portman. The Terrace Park Republican said he disagreed with Gonzalez's impeachment vote but "he’s a friend and he’s a good public servant." Portman is not running for re-election.

The resolution, which the Ohio GOP will address Friday, called the impeachments of Trump "meritless, partisan acts driven by retribution," according to Fox News, which first reported the possible censure. At least some members of the Ohio Republican State Central Committee had not received the resolution as of Tuesday afternoon.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio GOP to discuss censure of Rep. Anthony Gonzalez over Trump impeachment