John Katko’s representative survived the most serious challenge to his Republican support on Saturday when Cayuga County GOP leaders decided not to censor the fourth-term congressman.
The Cayuga County Republican Committee overwhelmingly voted against the decision to go ahead with a formal no-confidence resolution that would have berated Katko for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Katko, R-Camillus, addressed the GOP group for about 15 minutes on Saturday before the secret ballot vote, Cayuga County Clerk Sue Dwyer, one of the committee members who attended the meeting, said.
Katko answered questions from committee members, Dwyer said, and explained why he was among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurgency in the Jan.6 attack on the US Capitol.
I appreciated that Congressman Katko showed up at the meeting, Dwyer said. He was able to get up and tell us exactly what happened.
Dwyer said Katko gave GOP committee members a first-hand account of the attack and the events leading up to it.
In the end, the committee voted 57-18 against moving forward to consider a censure resolution or some other form of reprimand, said Dan Kranz, speaking on behalf of Katko.
Cayuga County GOP Chair Roberta Massarini told Katko ahead of the meeting that she believed her impeachment vote disenfranchised 19,000 people in the county who voted for Trump.
Katko has also faced growing repression from other Republicans and Conservative Party leaders in the 24th Congressional District, which has four counties.
The Wayne County Conservative committee voted unanimously to pass a resolution expressing distrust of Katko, which the party had supported in its previous four elections.
Last month’s committee resolution said she would never back Katko for an elected post again.
The state’s Conservative Party plans to wait before deciding to take similar steps that could deny Katko the party voting line in the 2022 election.
Separately, a group of around 40 Republican and Conservative party leaders and donors met privately at a Syracuse restaurant last week to discuss whether to continue supporting Katko.
The influential group of funders hesitated to make decisions, according to four people who attended the meeting.
The 24th Congressional District covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western half of Oswego County.
District boundaries will likely change before the 2022 election, once New York has completed its once-per-decade redistribution process to reflect the new population counts. The US Census Bureau said last week that these district-level demographic statistics would not be available until September.
MORE ON REP. JOHN KATKO
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John Katko preached bipartisanship in Congress for years. It can finally pay off
Riots on Capitol Hill left cops bloody, tattered and shocked, Katko says
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