Backlash: Six of seven GOP Senators voting to convict Trump have been rebuked in home states

Six of Senate Republicans' anti-Trump 7 have been repudiated by either state and local party officials or grassroots conservative voters.

Published: February 17, 2021 11:12am

Updated: February 18, 2021 12:33pm

Six of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict former President Trump in his impeachment trial have now been rebuked in their home states, either by party organizations or grassroots voters.

First among the anti-Trump 7 to be repudiated back home was Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. The executive committee of the Louisiana GOP voted unanimously to censure Cassidy on the same day the Senate voted on the single article of impeachment the Democrat-controlled House passed shortly after the Jan. 6 breach of Capitol Building.

"Our constitution and our country is more important than any one person," Cassidy tweeted in defense of his vote to convict Trump.

York County, Pa., Republicans voted over the weekend to censure Sen. Pat Toomey. While Toomey will not be running for reelection, USA Today reported that the York County Republican Committee discouraged county Republicans from contributing financially to the senator in the future and called on Toomey to return 2020 campaign donations from committee members.

On Sunday, the Lincoln County Republican Party unanimously adopted a resolution to censure Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who makes no secret of his disdain for Trump and his America First movement. 

In an emergency vote on Monday night, the North Carolina Republican Party unanimously decided to censure Sen. Richard Burr, who voted to convict Trump after previously voting that it was unconstitutional for the Senate to try the ex-president.

"By what he did and by what he did not do, President Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," Burr said after his vote.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney – the only GOP senator to break ranks and vote to convict Trump in his 2020 impeachment trial – is facing backlash in his home state, where grassroots conservatives have launched an online petition to censure the 2012 GOP presidential nominee for failing to "represent the average conservative Utah Republican voter."

The state party organization, however, defended the contrasting votes of Utah's two GOP senators as a sign of intellectual vitality. 

"The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on 'unanimity of thought,'" the Utah Republican Party said in a statement Monday. 

In Alaska, where the state Republican Party was on record opposing the impeachment trial, Republicans in at least six state House districts have voted to censure GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Of the seven GOP senators who voted against Trump in the trial, Murkowski is the only one who is up for reelection in 2022.

"I stand my ground," Murkowski said in response to the censure votes. "If I had to take that vote again, I would vote to uphold my oath of office."

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is the only one of the seven GOP defectors to escape rebuke – for now. The state's GOP county chairpersons did not issue a statement after meeting remotely on Monday night. However, one county party chairperson told The Bangor Daily News that a state party meeting to address censure "is likely to come by the end of the month."

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