By John Celock
The second youngest Republican female state legislator in the country resigned her spot in the Electoral College Monday, using the opportunity to call the tactics of the Trump opposition as “bullying.”
Ohio state Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) stepped down as an elector following a lawsuit field by Trump opponents seeking to get her disqualified as an elector for holding the title while serving as a state legislator. While calling the lawsuit “frivolous” she said she was stepping down in order to not have a delay in Ohio’s electors from voting to confirm the election of President-elect Donald Trump Monday. Hagan was in line to chair Ohio’s Electoral College meeting.
“It is unfortunate that the extreme left has engaged in what is the most obvious display of partisan and extreme political bullying that can occur. I however will gladly resolve any potential frivolous lawsuits from moving forward by resigning my opportunity to Chair and cast a vote as a member of the Electoral College in order to ensure no delay in the official election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States,” Hagan wrote on Facebook. “Although many members of and leaders from both parties of the legislature, whom I have served beside, have experienced the opportunity to serve and exercise their freedom of speech as an elector, I will be just as honored to hand the baton to another deserving Ohioan to take part.
Hagan’s resignation followed a several week campaign from progressive groups and supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to lobby Republican electors not to vote for Trump. Republican electors around the country have said they have received thousands of emails and calls from those seeking to prevent Trump’s election. Only one GOP elector has indicated that he would not vote for Trump.
The lawsuit against Hagan cited a state law regarding state legislators holding other offices. It is not uncommon for elected officials in states to serve as presidential electors. The U.S. Constitution only prohibits members of Congress from being electors.
Hagan, 28, was given an opportunity to address Ohio’s Electoral College meeting in Columbus Monday. Hagan used the opportunity to tell the electors to stand up to the protestors outside of the Capitol and those who have been lobbying for a different result. Ohio’s electors appointed an alternate elector to replace Hagan.
“We will not be intimidated by the fearless acts of the opposition,” Hagan said. “They are not guiding this Electoral College.”
Hagan told the Ohio electors that they had been sent to Columbus to vote for Trump by Ohio residents. She said that the actions of Trump opponents were backfiring on them.
“Their actions have extinguished the trust from those they seek to govern,” Hagan said of those opposing Trump.
Hagan used part of her speech to talk about Trump and say that he would be a “president for all Americans.” She said that Trump would help women to be able to work and raise their children, along with promoting economic opportunity.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) used his keynote speech to the electors to promote Trump as well. Mandel, who is running for the U.S. Senate, said that Trump has “brought people together. Mandel used his speech, which he described as “freestyle,” to talk about the individual electors and promote their work. He also touched on the protestors. He said that the electors had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and that the protestors were exercising their constitutional rights.
“We should celebrate the fact that people are outside exercising their First Amendment rights,” Mandel said. “We should celebrate the fact that we have a great tradition in this country, a tradition of a peaceful transition of power.”
Mandel also told the Republican electors that the voters have endorsed their work and the beliefs of the Republican Party. He said this included believing that law enforcement “are the good guys.” He also said that the country was founded to guarantee “freedom of religion not freedom from religion” and those in the Electoral College “think having faith in our life is a good thing.”
Mandel also said Trump’s election was a vote against politically correct speech including those who wish to stop the use of “Merry Christmas.”
“Whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah or some other holiday you should be comfortable saying Merry Christmas,” he said.