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Former Ohio State WR In Congress Makes Decision On Political Future

Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez runs with the ball.

Receiver Anthony Gonzalez of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs in for a touchdown in the 4th quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 24, 2005. Ohio State won 31-6. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)

Since 2018, former Ohio State and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez has represented Ohio's 16th Congressional district. But amid intense political pressure, Gonzalez has made a big decision on his future in politics.

On Friday, Gonzalez announced that he will not seek election in the 2022 midterm election. In his statement, Gonzalez cited "toxic dynamics" within his own Republican party as a "significant factor" in his decision.

“Given the political realities of the day, I know this news will come as a disappointment to those who have been involved in our efforts,” Gonzalez said in his statement. “You have given me and my family tremendous strength and courage in the face of much adversity these past few months and years. Please know that every word has meant the world to me and given me hope that the chaotic political environment that currently infects our country will only be temporary. While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision.”

Gonzalez was one of the few House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump following the January 6 Capitol riot. In the aftermath of that decision, Gonzalez was subject to a censure from Ohio Republicans, and calls for his resignation.

While Gonzalez won't be resigning at this time, he'll only have the job for 14 more months.

Born in Cleveland, Anthony Gonzalez was a star in both football and track in high school. His speed and football acumen earned him a scholarship at Ohio State, where he lettered for three years.

Gonzalez earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2006 after making 51 receptions for 734 yards and eight touchdowns. He was second behind Ted Ginn Jr. in all categories that year.

The Ohio State star parlayed his success in college into the No. 32 pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2007. But despite two decent years with the Colts between 2007 and 2008, injuries quickly mounted and cut his career short.

Gonzalez retired from the NFL in 2012.

In 2018, Gonzalez was elected to the House of Representatives, becoming the first Latino to represent Ohio in Congress.