Katko will not seek reelection, citing personal perspective shifts

Rep. John Katko speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting.

Rep. John Katko speaks throughout a Home Committee on Homeland Safety assembly on Capitol Hill on July 22, 2020. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photograph


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ALBANY, N.Y. — Republican Rep. John Katko, a four-term congressman from Central New York who backed former President Donald Trump’s impeachment a yr in the past, will not seek reelection.

Katko introduced in a press release Friday that he will not run for an additional time period representing the state’s twenty fourth Congressional District, which has been aggressive for a while. The district’s boundaries this yr are unclear because the state Legislature works to finalize new traces within the coming weeks.

Katko, 59, attributed the selection to personal precedence shifts, and mentioned his mother and father and people of his spouse, Robin, all died inside the previous three years.

“To say that these gut-wrenching occasions supplied life-changing perspective for me is placing it mildly,” he mentioned. “I’m thrilled to start this subsequent and finest chapter of my life alongside Robin and our household,” he added.

Katko has walked an more and more slim line for the higher a part of the previous decade, persistently touting bipartisanship within the district that has swung each left and proper, no matter its presidential vote.

Katko, first elected in 2014, consistently rates as certainly one of Washington’s most middle-of-the-road, across-the-aisle lawmakers.

Trump hailed Katko’s departure.

“Nice information, one other one bites the mud. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!” he mentioned in a press release.

Early final yr, he was the primary of the ten Home Republicans to vote to question Trump, shedding him the assist of many state and native conservatives and incomes flak from each Trump and lots of of his GOP colleagues.

However he nonetheless simply received reelection in a district that President Joe Biden received by 9 share factors final yr.

Some Republicans praised Katko for persevering with to win a seat that’s Democratic-leaning, making him one of some Republicans within the nation to have the ability to achieve this persistently.


The district, which stretches throughout Syracuse and into surrouding rural counties, has about 20,000 extra Democrats as Republicans.

I first met John Katko in ‘14 when we were both new candidates,” Rep. Elise Stefanik wrote on Twitter.

“Nobody thought a Republican might win his district. Not solely did he win, he has received in landslides ever since. John is among the only Members for his constituents. He & Robin will at all times be pricey mates.”

Nonetheless, Katko makes the thirteenth Home Republican to say he’s retiring or in search of one other workplace this yr.

Additional compromising any certainty Katko may need had in in search of to stay in Congress: The district might bear harsher results of redistricting than a few of its neighbors, doubtlessly making it extra attainable for Democrats to regain.

The district in its varied iterations has flip-flopped between Democratic and Republican representatives.

A set of maps proposed by Democrats within the state’s Unbiased Redistricting Fee place Katko and GOP colleague Rep. Claudia Tenney in the identical district. New York is shedding one Home seat, going from 27 to 26 seats subsequent yr.

The potential new maps, which have but to be accepted, might sign a beginning spot as New York Democrats shuffle congressional boundaries to make up for the approaching lack of a seat.

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