If you are a close follower of this year’s wild presidential contest, you’ve been reading the past few days about a hard to believe scenario — Donald Trump either quitting or getting booted as the Republican nominee.
Whether that ever happens is a question that will keep pundits busy for awhile, but if it ever did it would have an impact on the presidential ballots in all 50 states this November, though it appears Connecticut wouldn’t be impacted as much as others.
Under GOP rules, Trump is the only one who can take himself out of the race. The only provision that exists for replacing a candidate nominated at the party convention is a candidate’s death or his refusal to run.
If that happened, the 168-member Republican National Committee, made up of members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories, would vote on a new nominee, with the majority vote deciding.
Some Republicans are stating, however, that there is a clause in the rules of the national GOP — besides death or refusal to run — which can be used to dump Trump.
According to the GOP’s RULE NO. 9, Filling Vacancies in Nominations:
The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, as nominated by the national convention, or the Republican National Committee may reconvene the national convention for the purpose of filling any such vacancies.
The term “otherwise” is part of the description of reasons for picking a new candidate. Those who are pushing the “otherwise” initiative are Republicans who believe Trump’s rhetoric, especially over the past few weeks, has made him unworthy of being a presidential candidate.
No matter what someone thinks of Trump, getting a new candidate on the ballot is no easy task.
Different states have different rules and deadlines on replacing presidential candidates on ballots.
In Ohio, a swing state, Republicans would have to replace Trump’s name by Wednesday, Aug. 10.
In Connecticut, there’s no guidance because the law is “silent” on the issue.
“This is uncharted water for us,” Patrick Gallahue, a spokesman in the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office, said Friday. “But if you are pressing me, I would say as long as a new candidate was officially named and on the ballot by the end of September then, that would give us enough time to get him or her on the Connecticut ballot and absentee ballots printed and circulated.”
In other words, there are no mandated deadlines that must be met.
Gallahue did add, however, that since this was an issue that hadn’t come up in Connecticut before, “we will keep looking into this to stay on top of any new developments.”
Trump seemed to try to diffuse some of the heat he’s received in recent days from his own party by endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan, Arizona Sen. John McCain and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte on Friday.
Those endorsements came a few days after he refused to endorse the trio a few days earlier.
“We will have disagreements, but we will disagree as friends and never stop working together toward victory, and very importantly toward real change,” Trump said at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.