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John Katko, who voted to impeach Trump, announces retirement

CBS News logo CBS News 2 days ago Aaron Navarro
House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands © Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands

New York Republican John Katko announced his retirement on Friday, becoming the third House Republican who voted to impeach former President Trump to forgo a reelection campaign. 

Though his seat has been a frequent target for House Democrats, Katko had held his swing upstate New York district for the past seven years. He ran ahead of Trump in 2020 by nearly 20 points. 

"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 a statement, adding that he wanted to spend more time with family, after the recent deaths of his parents.

Katko was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump's impeachment after the January 6 attacks. Before his vote in January 2021, Katko said that "Trump encouraged this insurrection, both on social media ahead of January 6, and in his speech that day… to allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy."

Two other House Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, announced their retirement in 2021. 


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"Great news, another one bites the dust. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!" Trump said in a statement Friday.

Katko worked with Democrat Bennie Thompson to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack. After House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy rejected that deal, and the commission failed to pass in the Senate, Katko criticized the version of the commission pushed through by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

His Syracuse metro district was likely to become an even more challenging district after redistricting. New York's Democratic-led legislature will take over the redrawing process if they reject the next set of proposals from the state's redistricting committee. The last Democratic proposal from the commission put Katko in a seat that favors Democrats by double digits.

Katko is known as a moderate Republican. A ranking member of the House committee on Homeland Security, Katko worked with Democrats on addressing the influx of migrants at the border. He had the third highest bipartisan index score in 2020, according to Georgetown University.

He's the 15th House Republican to retire or run for another office this cycle. 

All six of the seven remaining House Republicans that voted for Trump's impeachment, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jamie Herrera-Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington, Peter Meijer of Michigan and David Valadao of California, have announced their runs for re-election in 2022. 

The seventh House Republican, Congressman Fred Upton, of Michigan, said in December 2021 after Michigan's new congressional map passed, that he's been "strongly encouraged" to run for another term. 

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