Trump offers to back Katko challenger after impeachment vote

Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says

Former President TrumpBernie MentDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump’s former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors’ probe: report MORE is offering to back a primary challenger to Rep. John KatkochairmanJohn Michael KatkoOvernight Health Care: Medicaid enrollment reaches new high | White House gives allocation plan for 55M doses | Schumer backs dental, vision, hearing in Medicare Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack House lawmakers roll out legislation to protect schools against hackers MORE (R-N.Y.) after Katko voted to impeach Trump.

Trump sent the letter to the chairman of the Onondaga County Conservative Party detailing his support for a primary challenge, reported. Bernie Ment, the party’s chairman, said he got the message on Monday.

The outlet obtained the letter, written on top of an April 23 article by with the headline “Onondaga County Conservative Party dumps John Katko over Trump impeachment vote.”

“A great move,” Trump wrote overtop the article. “Katko will never win again. He is bad news. Please thank all including those in Wayne and Cayuga — and now Onondaga.”

“I won big in area. Will help with campaign — find a great candidate,” Trump wrote.

In addition to voting to impeach Trump, Katko also negotiated with his Democratic counterpart on the House Homeland Security Committee on an agreement for an independent commission to investigation the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. That agreement was ultimately rejected by most Republicans.

Katko is the only one out of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment that has yet to receive a primary challenger. 

Trump has vowed to help oust any Republican he deems insufficiently loyal in 2022, especially the 10 who voted to impeach him. Many of those have gotten challengers who are major supporters of the former president. A number have also faced backlash in their home districts. Four county Republican parties in Katko’s district have said they will not endorse him in his next primary.

President BidenCongressJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill’s Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE beat Trump by 9 points in Katko’s district in the 2020 presidential election.

Ment told the party is waiting until redistricting is done in New York before picking a candidate to run against Katko.

“It was a surprise to me this morning when I got [the letter],” Ment said. “I was shocked. It just turned up out of the blue.”

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