CLEVELAND — For Strongsville GOP President Shannon Burns last month's vote of Republican Congressman Anthony Gonzalez to impeach former President Donald Trump was a betrayal.
"That was a defining moment for Strongsville GOP and I don't think that there's any coming back from it,” Burns said.
The group voted unanimously to call for the resignation of Gonzalez. Burns likened the former Ohio State Buckeye's vote to being in the middle of a game against Michigan “and saying hold on and he runs in the locker room and Nancy Pelosi hands him a Michigan jersey and he comes back out and plays for the other team for the rest of the game."
The Strongsville GOP has also started an online petition calling on Gonzalez to resign the post he was elected to in 2018 when Rep. Jim Renacci left to run for the U.S. Senate.
Gonzalez will no doubt face a primary challenge next year. On Monday, Politico highlighted the move back to Northeast Ohio for Former Trump White House aide Max Miller to get ready for a primary run against Gonzalez. Miller is the grandson of the late Sam Miller, Cleveland philanthropist and longtime political power broker who passed away in 2019.
Burns said he's heard from several potential primary challengers but believes Miller, who he worked with in the White House, is best positioned to gain the president's backing.
"From my interactions with Max Miller with the president which there were several, he is a great friend to the president and I wouldn't be surprised to see the president come out and support Max and if the president were to get involved I don't think that we could find ourselves with a complicated primary at all,” Burns said.
Gonzalez, who has declined multiple interview requests on the subject, said in a podcast with The Dispatch that his vote was one of conscience and one that history will ultimately judge.
"You have to love your country and you have to adhere to your oath more strongly than you do your job,” Gonzalez said. “Yes in the short run maybe you lose your seat, maybe you don't get to come back but in the long arc of history I believe it was the right vote and I believe it sends the right message."