politics

In forgoing a bruising primary, the Ohio congressman deprived the party of what would have been one of the best test cases of the full extent of Trump’s dominion over the GOP.

On Capitol Hill, even former President Donald Trump’s critics could see that Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s departure from the race was a sign of Trump’s enduring grip on the party. | House Television via AP

By DAVID SIDERS, OLIVIA BEAVERS and ALLY MUTNICK

09/17/2021 07:56 PM EDT

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Few presidents have taken more public pleasure in seeing one of their party’s own leave office than Donald Trump in his reaction to Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s announcement that he would not seek reelection.

“1 down, 9 to go!” the former president gloated, in the second of two statements he released Friday celebrating Gonzalez’s exit.

The Ohio Republican’s departure was, of course, a victory for Trump, and the first victim in his post-election crusade against the 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach him.

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