John Katko, Republican congressman from Syracuse area, won’t seek reelection

FILE — Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on...
FILE — Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 22, 2020. Katko, who was one of just 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, has announced that he will not seek reelection this year. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)(Andrew Harnik | AP)
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 1:03 PM EST
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SYRACUSE, New York (WWNY) - The Republican congressman who represents central New York - and who was one of only 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former president Donald Trump last year - won’t seek reelection.

John Katko issued a statement Friday - widely reported - citing a desire to “enjoy my family and life in a fuller and more present way.”

But Katko was also under fire for his vote against Trump. As CNN put it Friday, “he had become a top target on the right, with conservatives angry that Katko voted for impeachment, a bipartisan infrastructure bill and bipartisan commission to probe January 6, and they started demanding that Katko be kicked off his committee.”

“My conscience, principles, and commitment to do what’s right have guided every decision I’ve made as a Member of Congress, and they guide my decision today,” Katko said in his statement.

It’s also not clear how much of a struggle reelection would be for the four term Republican this year; the district he now represents is widely regarded as a “swing” district, capable of being won by either a Democrat or Republican, and with Democrats redrawing the political maps now, it’s possible Katko could find himself in a district much more favorable to Democrats.

Katko’s decision is mildly good news for Democrats. Republicans are widely expected to take back control of the House in November’s election. Katko’s seat could help offset Republican gains.

Katko voted to impeach Trump after the riots of January 6. He’s the third Republican who voted to impeach Trump to announce he won’t seek reelection.

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