Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Gainesville, voted against impeaching President Donald Trump on Wednesday, but 10 of her House GOP colleagues and all Democrats still made him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
The 232-197 vote came one week before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and one week after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. The ensuing violence led to at least five deaths and dozens of arrests.
The article of impeachment accuses Trump of "willfully inciting violence" in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Last week, after the uprising, Cammack voted to object to the 2020 election results saying she wanted to “take a stand for every American’s right to a free and fair election.”
Wednesday night, after voting against impeachment, Cammack released a statement calling for unity.
“Not only does this move by the liberal Left further divide our nation, it sets a dangerous precedent that subjects the impeachment process to political motivations, rather than serious, thoughtful deliberations,” she said.
"The era of Trump is OVER!” the petition states. "Sign this petition to tell Representative Kat Cammack to resign over her support of sedition which led to the Capitol riots and subsequent deaths of 4 Americans.”
Joshua Mast, the vice chair of the Putnam County Democratic Party, launched the petition following last week’s violence.
"I’m very pleased with the amount of signatures, as it’s quickly approaching 1,000," Mast said. "Cammack campaigned solely on pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… Her rhetoric throughout the campaign was heavily fueled with calling Democrats ‘communists, socialists, radicals, anti-police, anti-American,’ etc. and she bears a large part of responsibility for this lie that the election was rigged and stolen."
The original goal of the petition was 100 signatures, then 400 and now 1,000. Signatories who leave comments echo Mast's sentiments.
"I'm totally embarrassed that Kat Cammack is my current representative. She has shown more fealty to Trump than to our electoral process and must go," wrote Anand R.
Cammack did not respond to a request for comment about the petition.
Cammack, 32, won her first term in November with 57 percent of the vote in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Alachua and several neighboring counties. Some of her supporters surfaced on social media to thank her for sticking with Trump in Wednesday’s vote.
“So glad I voted for you!” Tammy Lundell Churna wrote on Cammack’s Facebook page. “You are a bright light in a dark time. Keep supporting our troops, law enforcement officers and Israel.”
“Thank you Kat for voting not to impeach our President,” wrote Sylvia Johnson.
Cammack served as former Congressman Ted Yoho’s deputy chief of staff and campaign manager and said she ran to continue his efforts. At a campaign rally in Newberry last March, Cammack shared her goals with a crowd of 75.
"We want to get back to the basics, defend the Second Amendment,” she told the crowd. “People in Washington are doing everything they absolutely possibly can to erode it. In Tallahassee, they’re doing everything they absolutely possibly can to erode it.”
The resignation calls are cutting both ways. The conservative House Freedom Caucus chairman called for Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.—the No. 3 House Republican—to resign after she backed Trump's impeachment.
The Senate is not expected to take up the article of impeachment until after the Jan. 20 inauguration. Rather than voting to remove the president from office, the Senate could vote on whether to bar Trump from holding elected office in the future.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to note the plane spotted over Gainesville on Wednesday.