COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Republican Party’s Central Committee has voted to censure U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, of Cleveland, and nine other GOP congressional members who voted in February to impeach former President Donald Trump.
In addition, the Ohio GOP has also called on Gonzalez to resign.
The vote Friday rounds out similar votes to rebuke or censure seven other Republican impeachment-supporting representatives by state or local parties. Efforts to censure the other two failed.
Gonzalez has stood by his decision in favor of impeachment in the face of fierce pushback from his party’s conservative wing.
"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 wrote when explaining his decision for impeachment. "In doing so, five people have died - including a Capitol Police Officer - many more have been injured, and our democracy has been shaken."
"During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people's lives but to the very foundation of our Republic," Gonzalez added. "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."
Friday's resolution was put forth by Shannon Burns of the Strongsville GOP, one of the first state Republican organizations to call for Gonzalez's resignation after February's impeachment vote.
Gonzalez, who grew up in Avon Lake as the son of a Cuban immigrant, is in his second term representing the 16th district. He was a two-way football star at St. Ignatius High School before continuing his career at Ohio State, where as a wide receiver he helped the Buckeyes win two Big Ten titles and earned first-team All-conference honors in 2006 as a junior. He also played in the NFL for five seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
Trump has endorsed a primary challenger to Gonzalez. The rival, Max Miller, is a veteran of the Trump White House and of the former president’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns.
"Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a great job at the White House and will be a fantastic Congressman," Trump said in a statement that was shared on Miller's Twitter page. "He is a Marine Veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT. Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart."
Former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken, who is running to replace Rob Portman in the U.S. Senate, weighed in on the censure of Gonzalez on Friday. "As President Trump's hand-picked Party Chair who traveled 150,000 miles across Ohio supporting his agenda, I fully agree with the censure of Anthony Gonzalez."