The long-shot campaign to convince the electoral college to deny Donald Trump the White House got a boost Monday night when a Republican elector from Texas called on his party to follow his lead and dump their nominee.
Instead, Suprun wrote, it was about having to cast his vote for someone “who shows daily he is not qualified for the office.”
Citing everything from Trump’s call on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails to his recent appointments as president-elect and his decision to “stoke fear and create outrage,” Suprun said that he could not vote for Trump on Dec. 19, when electors across the country will cast their ballots for president and vice president.
Instead, Suprun wrote, his vote will go to “an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.”
On Monday, Suprun told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Tuesday morning that despite his decision to vote against Trump, he still believes in the power of the Electoral College.
"I think the Electoral College is exactly the right process to look at a candidate and say 'Hey we need to pull an emergency break,'" Suprun said.
"Objectively, as an elector ... the electoral college is here to do exactly what I think I’m doing, which is to stand up and saying no."
Suprun said he is not trying to lead a movement of "faithless electors" in Texas, but is determined to vote his conscience.
"I'm not sure if other electors will come forward or not — I am sure there are other electors who are not comfortable with Mr. Trump — but I'm not leading a movement, I'm just trying to make sure I have a clean conscience at the end of the day," he said.
At least one founding father would back his decision, Suprun believes.
“Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes,” he wrote in the op-ed. “Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence,” he wrote. “Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.”
A web site devoted to Hamilton’s view of the electoral college — HamiltonElectors.com — is calling on 36 more electors to "select a reasonable Republican."
If the magic number of electors turn to someone else or abstain from voting on Dec. 19, the election will be kicked over to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Last month, seven Democratic electors — including the two men behind website, Michael Baca of Colorado and Bret Chiafalo of Washington state — had agreed to support such a Republican, the Atlantic reported.
There had not yet been a Republican defection at the time, but Baca told the magazine that all they needed was one.
"We hope that once the first Republican peels away, once we have one who is brave enough to stick to their morals, then we’ll see a wave of support," he said.