All but one of Maine’s U.S Congressional Delegation issued statements opposing Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ decision Thursday to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican Primary ballot.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) took the strongest stance against Bellows’ decision, arguing that the ruling should be overturned.
U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), who previously voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol Building protests, nonetheless criticized Bellows for her ruling.
“I do not believe he should be re-elected as president,” said Rep. Golden, “However, we are a nation of laws, therefore until he is actually found guilty of the crime of insurrection, he should be allowed on the ballot.”
Golden was the only Maine Democrat to insist that Trump be afforded due process before he is allowed to appear on the ballot.
Secretary of State Bellows chose to remove Frmr. President Trump from Maine’s ballot on the grounds that he incited an insurrection, and is thus ineligible to hold public office under the 14th constitutional amendment.
Trump has not been convicted of that or any other crime, and Bellows’ decision has been criticized by Sen. King and other Maine officials.
King, who himself voted to convict Trump of inciting an insurrection, and who supports liberal policies, nonetheless opposes the unilateral removal of a candidate from Maine’s ballot for a crime of which he was not convicted.
“Absent a final judicial determination on the violation of the 14th amendment’s disqualification clause, I believe the decision as to whether or not Mr. Trump should again be considered for the presidency should rest with the people as expressed in free and fair elections,” said Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) who caucuses with Democrats.
Only Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) of the state’s Congressional delegation supported the Secretary of State’s decision.
“On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump Incited a violent mob to block Congress from certifying the Electoral College and to overturn the results of the 2020 election,” said Rep. Pingree, “Our constitution is the very bedrock of America and our laws, and it appears that Trump’s actions are prohibited by the Constitution.”
Bellows, who has been outspoken in her hatred for Trump, claimed to be entirely unbiased in her decision.
She was asked by Trump’s attorneys to recuse herself from the decision because she had already formed an opinion on his participation in an insurrection, but she declined the request.