(LibertySociety.com) – Following in Colorado’s footsteps, albeit by a different method, Maine chose to disqualify former President Trump from its 2024 Republican primary ballot. Unlike Colorado, which required a court ruling on the matter, Maine’s Secretary of State can choose to disqualify candidates if any voter submits a challenge. However, state law requires a hearing to be held on the matter before a decision is made.
Maine’s Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows held a hearing in December 2023 after several challenges were made to Trump’s candidacy in the state. Following the Colorado Supreme Court ruling that Trump be removed from the state’s ballot, Bellows offered the challengers an opportunity to submit new arguments.
Just one day before Bellows decided that Trump would not be on Maine’s primary ballot, Trump’s attorneys sent a letter to her office demanding she recuse herself from the decision. They argued that she had “already passed judgment on the Challengers’ core assertions,” citing several of her previous tweets. Bellows’ decision drew instant criticism from Republicans, but one Democrat’s disapproval stood out. Jared Golden, who represents Maine in the House, released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, noting that the United States is a nation governed by laws. He wrote that until Trump is convicted of insurrection, “he should be allowed on the ballot.”
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, who has not ever had a problem with publicly criticizing Trump, also blasted Bellows’ decision. In a post on X, she pointed out that Maine’s legislature chooses who to appoint as Secretary of State. She wrote that the voters should get to decide who their chosen candidate would be and that she believed the decision should be reversed.
In her announcement, Bellows made clear that her decision would be stayed until the United States Supreme Court weighed in on a challenge filed by the Colorado GOP. The Maine Republican Party announced that it plans to fight Bellows’ decision to the highest court in the land if necessary.
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