Conservative Republican leaders who formed Operation Grant to oppose Trumpism are speaking out against the former president’s election lies in anticipation of Donald Trump’s rally in Lorain County this Saturday.
Operation Grant, which is dedicated to reclaiming the party of Lincoln by electing anti-Trump Republicans to public office, supports Anthony Gonzalez for U.S. Representative in Ohio’s 16th district.
“We support Gonzalez for having the moral courage to stand up to tyranny when he voted to impeach Donald Trump,” said Phil Heimlich, a former Republican Cincinnati City Council member, Hamilton County Commissioner and assistant prosecutor. “Gonzalez was only one of only 10 Republicans nationwide willing to put democracy over demagoguery and vote to impeach a former president who began sowing the seeds of insurrection in his tweets following the presidential election.”
Gonzalez, of Rocky River and nine other Republican representatives voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol building that resulted in the deaths of five people, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick.
Trump comes to Wellington, Ohio, for a political rally this weekend. He and his followers continue to baselessly claim the 2020 election was stolen from him. Sixty lawsuits claiming Trump lost the election due to fraud have since been thrown out by the courts, in many cases by Trump-appointed judges. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, found no evidence of fraud.
In May, the Ohio Republican Central Committee voted in May to censure Gonzalez and call for his resignation because of his impeachment vote. Trump is coming to Ohio to endorse former staff aide and Trump loyalist Max Miller, who faces Gonzalez in the May, 2022 primary. Gonzalez has served in the House of Representative since 2019.
“Republicans are waging a losing battle against the truth,” said Chris Gagin of St. Clairsville, an attorney and former GOP chair in Belmont County. “Rep. Gonzalez is respected, qualified, a former OSU football player, military veteran and conservative. If his vote to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection– which was based on truth– disqualifies him from holding elective office as a Republican, then the Republican party has lost its moral and conservative principles, if not its political mind.”
“Rational Republicans who care about the future of our democracy need to elect leaders who pledge allegiance to the United States of America, not Trump,” said lifelong Republican Michael Anne Johnson of Cleveland, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Northern District of Ohio. “The last thing we need in Ohio is another Trump sycophant who wants to suppress our right to vote, obviate our laws, spread disinformation and attack the free and independent press.”
Lifelong Republican Sarah Moser of Van Wert County, a U.S. Air Force veteran, mother and farmer, said our active military and veterans are among the bravest of our citizens, for they regularly risk their lives to ensure that American democracy stays strong and citizens’ rights are protected.
“Anthony Gonzalez is an American hero, a true profile in courage,” she said. “I believed Trump’s defeat would get the Republican Party back on track. Sadly, that has not been the case. Trump does not– and cannot– continue to represent us. The only way to repair the party is to vote against Trump lackeys like Miller and send a clear message that this is not who we are.”
Operation Grant stands against autocracy and Trumpism, said Chris Gibbs, a former Republican Party chairman and Board of Elections president in Shelby County. He is also a first-generation farmer and rancher.
“As a former elections official, I will never reward those who promoted and participated in the Big Lie that destroyed trust in our free and fair elections,” said Gibbs. “We need leaders who are patriots and independent thinkers, men and women who uphold the Constitution and rule of law. We need more leaders like Liz Cheney and Anthony Gonzalez, not weak Trump followers like Matt Gaetz and Max Miller.”
Operation Grant is named after President Ulysses S. Grant, an Ohio native and victorious Civil War general. It was launched in the summer of 2020 to persuade Ohio Republicans to oppose Trump in the presidential election.
“After the Civil War, President Grant rose to the moment to unite a divided nation,” said Gagin. “Republicans must rise to the moment now to preserve our republic.”
Operation Grant is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) dedicated to preserving democracy. For more information, visit http://www.operationgrant.org to join the movement, volunteer and donate.