Katko becomes the third of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year not to run for reelection in November.
The four-term representative and former federal prosecutor who represents a battleground district in central New York, said in a statement sent to news organizations that he won’t bid for another two-year term in Congress “so that I can enjoy my family and life in a fuller and more present way.”
Katko faced backlash from many in the GOP after voting last January to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by right wing extremists and other supporters of the then president who aimed to upend congressional certification of now President Biden‘s Electoral College victory.
Trump cheered the announcement, saying, “Great news, another one bites the dust. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!”
He also upset conservatives for voting in support of the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the storming of the Capitol, as well as for the infrastructure bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. Katko faced at least one GOP primary challenger in this year’s midterm elections.
Katko becomes the third of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to not seek reelection, joining Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
He noted in his statement that he wants to spend more time with his family after a “gut-wrenching” three years in which he and his wife buried all four of their parents.
“Great news, another one bites the dust,” Trump exulted in a statement. “Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!”
This past fall, Katko triggered more outrage from conservatives by being one of 13 Republicans to vote in favor of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
In his retirement statement, Katko described his time in Congress as “rewarding in ways I never thought possible.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
Prior to his election to the House in 2014, Katko worked as a senior trial attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission and an assistant US attorney for the Department of Justice.
Katko is the 13th House Republican to announce they will not contest their seat in November, joining 26 Democrats who have also announced their intention to retire or seek other elected office. His district is expected to be redrawn to be significantly more favorable to Democrats, posing a potential recruiting challenge for the GOP.
“Katko is probably the only Republican who could hold the seat, especially if Dems redraw the district to be much bluer,” tweeted Cook Political Report forecaster Dave Wasserman.
The redistricting process, in which New York loses a House seat ahead of the 2022 midterms, could also have forced Katko into a district with another GOP incumbent, like Claudia Tenney of the neighboring 22nd District.