John Katko, Who Voted to Impeach Trump, Won’t Seek Re-election

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Increasingly marginalized from conservatives astatine location and successful Washington, Mr. Katko besides faced a brutal wide predetermination run successful his left-leaning New York district.

Representative John Katko is the 3rd  House Republican to discontinue   aft  voting to impeach erstwhile  President Donald J. Trump.
Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Catie EdmondsonNicholas Fandos

Jan. 14, 2022, 4:51 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Representative John Katko of New York, a centrist Republican who broke with his enactment past twelvemonth to ballot to impeach erstwhile President Donald J. Trump, announced connected Friday that helium would not tally for re-election.

Mr. Katko is the third of 10 House Republicans to denote helium is retiring aft voting to impeach Mr. Trump.

In a connection that fell astir precisely 1 twelvemonth aft that vote, Mr. Katko said helium decided to telephone it quits successful bid to “enjoy my household and beingness successful a fuller and much contiguous way.” He added that the nonaccomplishment of some his ain parents and his wife’s parents successful the past 3 years “provided life-changing position for me.”

“My conscience, principles, and committedness to bash what’s close person guided each determination I’ve made arsenic a subordinate of Congress, and they usher my determination today,” helium said.

Mr. Katko, a erstwhile national prosecutor, had grown progressively marginalized by conservatives astatine location and among House Republicans connected Capitol Hill, who person demanded full loyalty to Mr. Trump, played down the severity of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and eschewed moving with President Biden. Those who veer disconnected that people person recovered themselves attracting superior challengers, being pushed to the party’s sidelines, oregon both.

Mr. Katko sins successful the eyes of his ain enactment included supporting the instauration of an autarkic committee to analyse the Capitol riot and backing a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure program championed by Mr. Biden. He had already drawn 3 superior challengers and, if helium survived that, was facing the likelihood of a brutal wide predetermination campaign.

New York Democrats, who tried and failed for years to oust him from the Syracuse-based seat, are presently eying caller legislature lines that could marque the territory virtually unwinnable for Republicans, adjacent successful a twelvemonth that officials successful some parties judge favors the G.O.P.

Democrats and Mr. Trump recovered uncommon communal crushed to cheer Mr. Katko’s decision.

“Great news, different 1 bites the dust,” Mr. Trump, who had offered to help those vying to unseat Mr. Katko successful a primary, said successful a statement.

Abel Iraola, a spokesperson for House Democrats’ run arm, said the status highlighted however the Republican Party’s rightward drift has made it “toxic for alleged G.O.P. moderates.”

Mr. Katko had been among a shrinking radical of lawmakers who appealed to voters extracurricular of his ain party. When Mr. Biden won his cardinal New York territory successful 2020 by 9 points successful 2020, Mr. Katko prevailed by 10.

But the aforesaid centrist credentials that allowed Mr. Katko to bent onto his spot made him a people successful blimpish circles. After Republican leaders tasked him to enactment with Democrats connected a connection to make an autarkic Jan. 6 commission, they past abandoned the effort successful favour of shielding Mr. Trump and the enactment from further scrutiny, urging lawmakers to reason the program Mr. Katko had negotiated.

When Democrats formed their ain prime committee to analyse the riot anyway, Mr. Katko infuriated hard-right members by voting successful October to hold Stephen K. Bannon successful transgression contempt of Congress for stonewalling their inquiry.

And Mr. Katko was 1 of 13 House Republicans who voted successful November for the infrastructure bill, starring immoderate successful his enactment to marque him and the different G.O.P. supporters of the authorities “traitors,” and to telephone for Mr. Katko to beryllium stripped of his enactment relation connected the Homeland Security Committee. He had been successful enactment to go the panel’s president if Republicans won power of the House.

The choler from his close flank followed Mr. Katko home. The Conservative Party, a insignificant enactment successful New York that backs Republicans successful astir races, had denounced him past April and formally withdrew its enactment from his re-election bid aft helium voted for a Democratic measure extending protections for cheery and transgender rights.

Bernard Ment, the enactment president successful Onondaga County, location to Syracuse, said that presumption was the past straw. In an interview, helium called Mr. Katko a “Democrat,” though helium retained enactment from his section Republican Party organization.

“He’s been the 1 feline who’s tried to enactment connected some sides of the aisle,” Mr. Ment said. “The occupation is he’s managed to alienate a batch of blimpish voters and tick disconnected a batch of Republicans, and I don’t deliberation helium tin marque up the crushed with Democratic voters.”

Democrats who power New York authorities authorities successful Albany are wide expected to effort to pad the territory with caller Democratic voters as they redraw the state’s legislature districts successful the coming weeks, giving their enactment a stark vantage successful November. Three Democrats — 2 of them veterans — person already entered the race.

With Mr. Katko and his crossover entreaty retired of the way, Democrats are apt to beryllium little fearful of a Republican winning his district, giving them much wiggle country to further grow their bulk arsenic they redraw the map. New lines could output arsenic galore arsenic 4 caller seats for Democrats successful the House and contradict Republicans 5 they presently hold. (New York is slated to suffer 1 legislature spot this twelvemonth aft nationwide reapportionment.)

Mr. Katko, for his part, has maintained that helium was focusing connected supporting his party’s argumentation priorities, lashing against Mr. Biden’s migration policies successful particular, and moving to bring location results for his district. In a connection past year, helium made wide however unsafe helium believed the erstwhile president’s behaviour was successful the tally up to Jan. 6.

“To let the president of the United States to incite this onslaught without effect is simply a nonstop menace to the aboriginal of our democracy,” Mr. Katko said. “For that reason, I cannot beryllium by without taking action.”

Nicholas Fandos reported from New York.

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