Congressman John Katko (R-NY) announced Friday that he would not seek re-election in 2022, choosing instead to retire to spend more time with his family. Katko is now the third member of Congress to have voted to impeach former President Donald Trump to announce their retirement before the midterm elections.
Katko, a four-term representative, released a statement on Friday stating that his time in office over 32 years has been “rewarding” in ways that he never thought possible. However, the New York representative noted that over the past three years, both he and his wife have lost their parents. Katko added: “To say those gut-wrenching times provided life-changing perspective is putting it mildly.”
As a result, he has decided not to run for office again so that he can “enjoy” his family in a “fuller and more present way.”
“My conscience, my principles, and commitments to do what’s right have guided every decision I’ve made as a member of Congress, and they guide me to my decision today,” he added. Katko also thanked his supporters and constituents for their faith in him.
Katko is currently a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee. If Congress flips to Republican control, he likely would have been made chairman.
He is also one of 10 House Republicans to have voted to impeach Trump, and the third to announce his retirement in addition to Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). After Kinzinger announced his retirement last fall, Trump issued a statement saying, “2 down, 8 to go!”
Andrew McCarthy, an Air Force veteran and strong supporter of Trump, was primarying Katko for the 2022 GOP nomination in New York’s 24th Congressional district.
Following Katko’s announcement, McCarthy issued the following statement via Twitter:
“It’s a shame @RepJohnKatko quit on his people. I promise I fight to the death and will not let you down.”
It’s a shame @RepJohnKatko quit on his people.
I promise I fight to the death and will not let you down.
Please support our America First movement here:https://t.co/78MKCxrPPA
— Andrew McCarthy for Congress (@AMcCarthyNY) January 14, 2022
Every Republican in the House of Represenatives who voted to impeach Trump has either retired or been primaried:
SCORECARD–GOP who voted to impeach Trump:
Katko – resigned
Kinzinger – resigned
Gonzalez – resigned
Toomey – resigned
Upton – primaried
Newhouse – primaried
Cheney – primaried
Meijer – primaried
Rice – primaried
Valadao – primaried
Beutler – primaried
Murkowski – primaried
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) January 14, 2022
The New York Times’ Nicholas Fandos predicted that Katko’s retirement could help Democrats in that district.
“Whoa!,” he tweeted. “This is huge news in NY and DC. Katko, a former federal prosecutor and top R on Homeland security, consistently wins on Dem leaning turf in central NY. His retirement hands Democrats a significant, unexpected boost as they look at gerrymandering NY to max out Dem gains.”
This is huge news in NY and DC. Katko, a former federal prosecutor and top R on Homeland security, consistently wins on Dem leaning turf in central NY. His retirement hands Democrats a significant, unexpected boost as they look at gerrymandering NY to max out Dem gains https://t.co/VHyZ8l5QJK
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) January 14, 2022
As pointed out by Axios, Katko’s seat could wind up getting legislated out of existence, depending on what sort of new House maps are chosen by New York state:
New York Democrats’ desire to squeeze as many favorable districts as possible out of upstate New York may put his Biden-voting district into even bluer territory, imperiling his general election chances.
Another proposal has him going head-to-head with Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), a more conservative Republican who would likely win Trump’s endorsement.
Currently, 18 Democrats have announced they will not seek re-election compared to just six Republicans.
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