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Former Donald Trump aide Max Miller announces GOP primary bid against U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez claiming endorsement from Trump

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 2/26/2021 Sabrina Eaton,

WASHINGTON, D. C. - A former aide to President Donald Trump has announced he will run against Rocky River Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach the former president after his supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol in an unsuccessful effort to stop Congress from tallying votes that declared Joe Biden to be president.

“I’m running for Congress to stand up for Northeast Ohioans,” said a statement that Cleveland native Max Miller posted on Twitter. “They overwhelmingly voted for the America First agenda. But their Congressman betrayed them when he voted to impeach President Trump. I won’t back down. And I’ll never betray them.”

Another Twitter posting from Miller claimed that his bid for Congress is endorsed by Trump.

“Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a fantastic job at the White House and will be a fantastic Congressman,” the endorsement said. “He is a Marine Veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT. Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart. Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”

A spokesman for Gonzalez declined comment on Miller’s announcement.

In a interview after his vote, Gonzalez said he expected to face a primary challenge. A statement Gonzalez posted on social media after his vote to impeach Trump said he “helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution. In doing so, five people have died - including a Capitol Police Officer - many more have been injured, and our democracy has been shaken.

“The Vice President and both chambers of Congress had their lives put in grave danger as a result of the President’s actions in the events leading up to and on January 6th,” he continued. “During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people’s lives but to the very foundation of the Republic.”

Gonzalez did not face a primary contest in 2020 and won the general election with 63.2 percent of the vote.. He won the 2018 general election with 56.7 percent of the vote after winning 53 percent in a three way Republican primary with former state legislator Christina Hagan and physician Michael Grusenmeyer.

Hagan, who lost a 2020 bid for Congress against Democrat Tim Ryan in a neighboring district, says she won’t rule out a rematch with Gonzalez in 2022. Jonah Schulz, a Republican who unsuccessfully sought the congressional seat held by Democratic Warrensville Heights Rep. Marcia Fudge in 2020, has also announced a primary challenge of Gonzalez.

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