A Democratic Representative from Maine, Jared Golden, openly disagreed with his state’s decision on Thursday to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 primary ballot.
This declaration came shortly after Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, also a Democrat, deemed Trump’s primary petition “invalid.” The basis for this decision was the belief that the former president had violated the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause due to his actions leading up to the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
“I voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th insurrection. I do not believe he should be re-elected as President of the United States,” Golden said in a statement. “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.”
Jared Golden represents a congressional district in Maine that has leaned towards supporting Trump in the last two presidential elections. Despite facing a multitude of legal challenges, including a case led by special counsel Jack Smith accusing him of unlawfully scheming to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Trump is actively pursuing another term in the White House next year.
It is noteworthy that Golden, in contrast to his fellow Democrat Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, expressed disagreement with the decision to disqualify Trump from the primary ballot in their state.
“The text of the Fourteenth Amendment is clear. No person who engaged in an insurrection against the government can ever again serve in elected office,” she said on X. “On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump incited a violent mob to block Congress from certifying the Electoral College + overturn the 2020 presidential election. Our Constitution is the very bedrock of America and our laws and it appears Trump’s actions are prohibited by the Constitution.”
Shenna Bellows announced her decision shortly after the state of Colorado permitted Donald Trump to be included on its primary ballot. In Colorado, the GOP had filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to overturn a ruling that initially disqualified Trump. Notably, Bellows rejected a request from Trump’s legal team to recuse herself, despite concerns raised about potential bias against the former president based on her social media posts.
“My decision is based exclusively on the record before me, and it has in no way been influenced by my political affiliation or personal views about the events of January 6, 2021,” Bellows said.
In response to the decision by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows to disqualify Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot, Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, issued a statement. Cheung conveyed the campaign’s intent to promptly file a legal objection in state court to prevent the implementation of what he referred to as an “atrocious decision” in Maine. He also emphasized that President Trump remains committed to the ongoing fight to “Make America Great Again.”