WASHINGTON – A Republican elector from Texas said Monday he will not vote for Donald Trump Dec. 19, becoming the first member of the electoral college to abandon the president-elect.
The elector, Christopher Suprun, penned an op-ed  in The New York Times explaining his decision. He is one of 306 electors won by Trump, with 270 needed to secure the nomination. All total, 37 would have to abandon Trump for him to fall short; if no candidate received 270 votes the election then would be tossed into the House of Representatives.
“I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office,” he wrote. “Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation. That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day. George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks. His leadership showed that America was a great nation. That was also the last time I remember the nation united.
“I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us. Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage. This is unacceptable.”
Suprun further said that Trump “lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief” and that the world would be a more dangerous place with him in office. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, Suprun said, encouraged the nation not to elect a “demagogue.”
Suprun added, “The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. 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. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.”
Suprun received support and pushback in the comments section, which by Tuesday morning had more than 1,100 entries.
“Whatever Mr. Trump’s shortcomings may be, he won the election,” one person named Fred wrote. “Any other candidate chosen by a rogue electoral college would have no legitimacy. The election of the next President (or any subsequent President) should not turn on the judgment of 538 people who are unknown to most of us.”
Another commenter, Rick Harris, wrote, “I do not believe that your vote is endowed with a superior value to that of the 60 million American’s who voted. It invites anarchy rather than enhances Democracy. If the American people, voting in their respective states, cannot act to maintain the individual freedoms granted in the Bill of Right, the 14th and 15th Amendments, as well as the need for honest in political discourse, it is sorrowful. But your electoral vote, however cast, will not change the fact that voters were prepared to reject the conventions that usually abide during American elections. Now we, as well as they, will have to live and react to that decision.”
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