Trump says Maine secretary of state should recuse herself on ballot question

By Jen Krausz on
 December 29, 2023

Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows should recuse herself from a decision about whether to disqualify him from being on the 2024 presidential ballot in that state because of comments she previously made about his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol breach and because of her opinion that it was an "insurrection."

“The Jan 6 insurrection was an unlawful attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election," Bellows previously tweeted about the day and its events.

She also wrote in 2022, before the midterm elections, “One year after the violent insurrection, it’s important to do all we can to safeguard our elections."

In Maine, the secretary of state first determines whether a candidate is eligible to be a candidate for a particular office. That decision can then be petitioned to courts.

So far, Colorado has ruled to take Trump off the ballot there, and Michigan has ruled to keep him on it.

The Colorado decision is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if that court rules, it will have a ripple effect on other state cases such as Maine's.