In a public declaration of no-confidence, a Republican member of the Electoral College from Texas has vowed to vote against Donald Trump during the college’s meeting Dec. 19, saying the president-elect “shows daily he is not qualified for office.”
Christopher Suprun, a paramedic and first responder to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, laid out a lengthy list of concerns about Trump in an op-ed published Monday in The New York Times, calling on fellow electors to “do their job” and unify around an “honorable and qualified” alternative such as Ohio. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
Suprun wrote: “The Electoral College is tasked with ensuring candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence.” Trump, he said, “does not meet these standards, and should, therefore, be rejected from the White House.”
“Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief,” Suprun wrote “Mr. Trump urged violence against protesters at his rallies during the campaign. He speaks of retribution against his critics,” he added.
Suprun argues that he has “poured countless hours” into serving his party, and will continue to do so. “But I owe no debt to a party,” he wrote. “I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.”
With his promise, Suprun becomes the Republican party’s first “faithless elector” this presidential election, The Guardian reports. Previously, seven of the nation’s 538 electors ― all Democrats in states won by Hillary Clinton ― had voiced their intent to break their pledge.
Harvard University law professor Larry Lessig announced on Monday he will launch “The Electors Trust,” which will provide free counsel to those seeking to oppose Trump in states where doing so may be illegal, Politico reports. The platform is also intended to help electors gauge whether there’s enough support to prevent Trump from becoming president.
“It makes no sense to be elector number five who comes out against Trump. But it might make sense to be elector 38,” Lessig said, according to the report.
Last week, Art Sisneros, also a Republican elector from Texas, announced he planned to resign from the Electoral College rather than vote for Trump. He said casting his vote for Trump would “bring dishonor to God.”
In addition to Suprun, 36 GOP electors would have to jump ship to drop Trump below the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. It may be a long shot, but it’s exactly what Suprun is pushing for.
“The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,” he wrote. “Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.”
“Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Suprun added. “On Dec. 19, I will do it again.”