Gonzalez, from Rocky River, currently serves Ohio’s 16th congressional district. He was one of only ten House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.
“Post January 6, it’s moved into a realm that I increasingly find difficult to represent, to be frank, and so that’s a portion of the decision, but the bigger decision, honestly… reasons one, two, three, four and five as to why we’ve made this decision is, we want to get back to building a family of our dreams,” he said Friday afternoon.
The 36-year-old former Ohio State and NFL football player was set to face Max Miller, who Trump endorsed, in a primary next year. In fact, Trump held a rally in Wellington in late June to support Miller.
“I think I would have won, but you know, we’ll never know, right? It would have been a major, major battle and it would have been a tough primary, but I do believe I would have won ultimately,” Gonzalez said.
In a statement Friday, former president Trump said “good riddance” to Gonzalez and called the congressman’s decision to leave politics “no loss for Ohio.”
“Honestly, I have no reaction. I haven’t cared what he thinks or feels since Jan. 6 and I’ll never care frankly. The only thing I care about with respect to his commentary is when he continues to push narratives that have led to political violence, because I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s a smart guy and so I get upset when he goes down that path. What he says about me, I literally could not care less,” Gonzalez told FOX 8 in response to the statement.
Congressman Gonzalez says other than spending more time with his family, he has not determined what his future plans will be.