Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) will not seek reelection in 2022.
Katko, a moderate Republican representing a center-left district in Upstate New York (including the city of Syracuse) likely faced long odds in 2022 thanks to redistricting.
So far, the proposed congressional maps in New York have made Katko’s district more unfavorable for the GOP.
Katko has also faced increasing heat from conservative activists.
As Spectrum News reports:
The four-term Republican broke with his party most notably in voting to certify the 2020 presidential election and to impeach former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“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. “It is how I’ve been able to unite people to solve problems, and how I was rewarded with resounding victories in every single campaign for Congress.”
Katko also drew ire from some Republicans when he voted in favor of the federal $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed in November. In touting the bill, Katko said Central New York would see $27 million go to the airport and another $74 million to other projects.
“He’s taken a lot of heat and had an enormous amount of — putting it politely — hassle being a more moderate member of the Republican Party,” said Grant Reeher, director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Former President Donald Trump welcomed the news.
Other congressional Republicans, including an unabashedly pro-Trump member of New York’s delegation, praised Katko for his service.
Given the already liberal slant of the district, many observers feel voters there wouldn’t elect a conservative Republican.
So, what do you think? Is it better to have a Republican who votes with the base 70% of the time representing a blue district instead of a Democrat or should the GOP always push to elect the most conservative candidates? As always, tell us in the comments below!