ome of the Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in January are already having their seats challenged and their ability to hold onto their place in Congress may be dependent on the moves the former president makes in the next 18 months.
Ten Republicans joined Democrats in impeaching Trump a historic second time, a move that was quickly met with condemnation back in their home states. They’ve been publicly scolded, pushed to resign and warned that local organizations will mount a strong push to oust them from office in the primary.
“After my last election, I had decided not to run again. But the vote by Congressman [David] Valadao to impeach President Trump with no witnesses, evidence, or without allowing any defense was too much for me to stay on the sidelines,” Chris Mathys, a former Fresno, California, city council member, told Newsweek.
Valadao, who represents California’s 21st district, wasn’t in office during Trump’s first impeachment, as he had been ousted from office in 2018 by Democrat TJ Coxx. In November, Valadao won back his seat from the Democrat who beat him in 2018 by less than a point. The Republican placed blame on Trump for the Capitol riot, saying that his rhetoric was “un-American, abhorrent and absolutely an impeachable offense.”
That vote in favor of impeaching Trump “violated the trust” of the millions of Americans that voted for Trump in the November election, according to Mathys, who unsuccessfully sought a seat in New Mexico’s House during the 2020 primary. The decision was “so egregious,” that Mathys doesn’t think voters will forget it.
Whit Ayer, a GOP strategist, told Newsweek it was a “very gutsy” decision to vote in favor of impeachment because they “knew they would likely draw challenges.” However, it remains to be seen how much the impeachment will play in the 2022 primary and one of the factors that is still up in the air is how much of a political powerhouse Trump will be in 18 months.
“Has he started a third party, the Patriot Party? In which case, the Trump voters would follow him to his party and the Republicans in the governing party will be left to vote in a primary where these Republicans who voted to impeach should easily win renomination,” Ayer said. “Or is he busy fighting off lawsuits and bankruptcy so he’s otherwise engaged?”… Via – Newsweek