What does Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s decision to step down mean for the future of the GOP?
WASHINGTON, DC – Republican Representative for Rocky River Anthony Gonzalez disagrees with the direction former President Donald Trump and the Republican leadership are taking. He therefore felt that “the right thing to do is serve your sentence, make this announcement now … then go back to my privacy.”
Does Gonzalez’s two-term withdrawal signal the party’s indisputable shift towards its Trump wing?
Republicans disagree on the meaning and future of the party.
Youngstown State University political scientist William C. Binning, former chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, said Gonzalez’s departure was “not a good sign” for the future of the Republican Party from Ohio. He argued that Trump’s continued control over the Republican Party and its candidates will ultimately hurt the GOP in the next congressional election, as it will allow Democrats to continue running against Trump, instead defending President Joe Biden’s record. .
“It is a sad comment that this young man, a very promising politician for the state and the nation is leaving because he has expressed his own point of view,” Binning said. “There is a litmus test of Trump in the caucus and he apparently didn’t like it.”
Binning said the Republican Party had turned away from its old focus on budget conservatism and instead focused on Trump’s grievances, such as his fictitious claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
“They need to get rid of it and should just talk about Biden and all the money he borrows and spends,” Binning said.
Akron University political science professor David B. Cohen said Gonzalez’s departure showed Trump’s loyalists’ takeover of the Republican Party in Ohio was “now over” and that Loyalty to Trump will be a big factor in how he chooses candidates for future election cycles, unless those candidates are defeated in the general election.
“Trump has drawn a lot of new voters to the Republican base, but it’s clear they’re losing a lot of voters and a lot of party professionals to Trump’s influence,” said Cohen, who resides in the district. by Gonzalez. “Donald Trump represents a very confrontational side of politics.”
Gonzalez’s predecessor representing the V-shaped district which includes parts of Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit, Portage and Stark counties and all of Wayne County, pro-Trump Republican candidate for governor Jim Renacci, did not interpreted Gonzalez’s announcement as an indictment of the Republican. The current orientation of the party.
“People are leaving Washington, Republicans and Democrats, because Washington is broken,” said Renacci, who currently chairs the Medina County Republican Party and challenges Gov. Mike DeWine in the GOP primary next year. “It doesn’t work anymore and people are frustrated. I think our country needs to be fixed at the state level now because Washington is clearly broken. “
Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Lisa Stickan also said Gonzalez’s departure did not mean the party was pushing back moderates. Like any politician, she said Gonzalez should have responded to voters for taking an unpopular vote. She predicted her Republican Party supporters would fall behind whoever wins the primary to take her seat.
She took issue with the Republican Party “listening to one person” narrative and said county Republicans support the party’s platform to restore jobs and secure a booming economy.
Renacci and Stickan said Gonzalez’s departure could encourage new candidates to run for the seat after the Ohio Redistribution Commission defined the state’s congressional district boundaries. The state will lose one of its current 16 seats in Congress and the boundaries of all of its districts will change.
In a cleveland.com/The Interviewing Plain Dealer on Friday afternoon, Gonzalez said staying in a job that required prolonged separations from his wife and children – ages 1 and 3 – no longer worked for his family.
“Most people are very understanding but also disappointed,” Gonzalez said after spending much of the day on the phone thanking friends, constituents and family members for supporting his political campaigns. “It makes him bittersweet. But at the end of the day, my political philosophy essentially centers on the idea that the family unit is the most important institution in society … I decided to put my family first so that Elizabeth and I may live the family life we have always dreamed of and want for ourselves and our children.
He described frustration with a political system where “the two parties have sort of lost their heads in many ways” as a secondary factor in his decision, going beyond the anger some Republicans have leveled at him for voting to impeach him. Trump for his role. inciting a riot at the United States Capitol where several people died.
The Ohio Republican Party called on Gonzalez to step down after his vote, and Trump recruited former White House aide Max Miller to run for Gonzalez’s seat in the Republican primary. Trump, who has pledged to topple the 10 House Republicans who supported his impeachment, responded to Gonzalez’s news with a statement to impeach the other nine as well.
After the vote, he said he received “a lot of angry comments” and referred those who crossed the line to law enforcement. He and his family also took security measures which he declined to say.
“Part of elected politics is making decisions that people love,” Gonzalez said. “There should never be political violence in this country and unfortunately there seem to be some flirting with it on both sides of the aisle and that’s wrong every time. It is a current virus that infects our politics.
Gonzalez called several jubilant statements issued by Trump in response to his departure “the same song and dance from him as always when he’s mad at someone.
“I didn’t think it was particularly thoughtful,” Gonzalez continued. “He might lose touch with these things, but I don’t care what he says.”
Gonzalez said he made his decision to quit about 10 days ago and had “no idea” what he would do after he left office. He says he will focus on ending his term “in the right way” by continuing to help voters, passing legislation to make the United States the most innovative and technologically most country. advancing the planet and helping its staff move on to other jobs, before moving on.
He would not rule out running for elected office in the future, but said “it wouldn’t be until our children are old and grown up and out of the house … in over 20 years”.
Gonzalez said he was able to spend more time with his family when coronavirus restrictions made travel difficult, and that he was not eager to hit the road 100 to 130 days a year with two children in the middle growth. He said he also felt his job hurt him to “distract me completely from the topic of the day” so that he could be as “mentally and emotionally present” as he needed to be for his family. .
He said he would continue to support candidates and elected officials “who respect the rule of law and the Constitution” to get elected. Leaving office will not compromise that goal, he said, just move it to another battlefield.
“You can’t build a political movement around a person or a personality,” Gonzalez said of Trump. “People are fleeting and they have flaws. The Republican Party must be built on timeless conservative ideals, the ideals of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, which put the family at the center of society, which reduce the size of government and promote freedom throughout society. This is ultimately what I hope the Republican Party will come back to. This obsession with an individual and this blind loyalty to that individual is a political impasse, but it is also horribly toxic to the country.
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