Report: Rep. John Katko, a Republican, won’t vote for Donald Trump
U.S. Rep. John Katko has made his decision: He’s not voting for his party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
That’s according to an interview Saturday with syracuse.com. He told the Syracuse media outlet that he won’t support Trump and believes the GOP nominee should seriously consider bowing out of the race.
In a statement published on his campaign’s Facebook page, Katko offered more details about his position on the presidential race.
“As outlined last night, Robin and I find the comments made by Donald Trump offensive, disgusting and inexcusable,” he said. “These comments are horrific, but are sadly only the latest in a series of vulgar and inappropriate comments and behavior.
“Faced with two candidates with serious flaws, I have long declined to endorse or support Donald Trump in this race. Today, many others in my party are joining me. Neither candidate shares my values. I cannot support Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump has not and will never earn my vote.”
Colleen Deacon, Katko’s Democratic challenger in the 24th Congressional District race, believes the GOP congressman’s announcement is “too little, too late.”
Deacon, D-Syracuse, was on the phone with The Citizen for a previously scheduled interview moments after news broke that Katko wouldn’t be voting for Trump.
“I mentioned all the terrible, disgusting, sickening things that Donald Trump has said since he’s been on this campaign trail,” Deacon said. “I don’t think (Katko) is being honest. He’s faking surprise when he knew exactly what Trump was all about.”
Katko’s comments came one day after a video clip surfaced of Trump making lewd comments about women. The revelation has led several Republicans, including some of Katko’s colleagues in Congress, to withdraw their support of the party’s presidential candidate.
Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey, who was the first county GOP chair in New York to support Trump’s presidential bid, said Saturday he remains a Trump supporter. But even he labeled Trump’s comments as “offensive.”
The decision by Katko was months in the making. He initially said he would support the Republican presidential nominee. He changed his position once it became clear that Trump would secure the nomination.
When Trump unveiled a proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., Katko criticized it and questioned its constitutionality. And when Trump attacked a Gold Star family, Katko called the GOP nominee’s comments “disrespectful.”
Katko, though, didn’t rule out supporting Trump — until Saturday.