Impeachment drives 1,000 GOP candidates to run for House
By Paul Bedard
January 22, 2020
Pennsylvanian James Bognet had been around local and presidential politics for a long time before landing a dream job as a senior vice president at the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
“I was really honored to get a chance to work in the Trump administration,” said Bognet, 44, a veteran of several campaigns, including those for former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“It’s really cool for a small-town kid from Hazleton, Pennsylvania,” added Bognet, who worked with the White House on President Trump’s manufacturing agenda.
But like many Republicans inside and out of the administration, the Democratic drive to impeach Trump angered him, and he started watching his hometown Democratic congressman, Matt Cartwright, to see if he would vote against Trump.
“There’s no way Matt Cartwright is going to vote for impeachment. That is suicidal. He represents a Trump plus-10 district, he can’t do that,” reasoned Bognet, quietly “boiling mad” but prevented from publicly venting because of Hatch Act rules governing government employee speech.
But Cartwright did vote to impeach, prompting political predictor Charlie Cook to move his seat, Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, into the “toss-up” category.
Twenty-one days later, Bognet resigned his job and made plans to run in the GOP House primary in April to unseat Cartwright, citing impeachment as his motivation.
“I can now lend my voice, my passion, and my efforts to defending our president from a never-ending witch hunt, and return to my hometown of Hazleton, in the 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, to take direct personal action fighting to make sure that the House of Representatives will not continue to wage political war on President Trump during his second term in office,” he said in his resignation letter shown below.