LePage said he felt “very, very embarrassed” Monday watching Bright in the House chambers in Augusta as the organic farmer from Dixmont sought to dodge a state law requiring that he cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the statewide vote last month.

Bright, one of the state’s four electors, said he thought the gathering “went quite well,” but the governor is entitled to a different opinion.

Bright initially voted for Sanders instead of Clinton, but when he was ruled out of order, he switched to Clinton’s side in the 3-1 final tally in which the former secretary of state carried Maine’s delegation while losing nationally to President-elect Donald Trump.

LePage, a strong Trump backer, said he thought Bright’s rationale for trying to vote for Sanders “was even weaker than his actions.”

“I don’t know the gentleman, but I was embarrassed” by him, LePage told WVOM radio.

LePage also criticized the party that chose Bright as one of its electors this past summer.


“You would have thought that the Democrats could have picked somebody who knew the laws going in,” LePage said.

Maine law says electors shall cast their ballots for the presidential candidate who won. Two electors are required for the statewide winner while the other two each vote for the contender who gets the most votes in their congressional district.

Bright, a statewide elector, was told he could not vote for anyone other than Clinton under state law and that he could be charged with a felony if he refused to obey.

Even so, in the first round of balloting, he backed Sanders, who lost a primary to Clinton. After his vote was ruled out of order, the four electors voted again and Bright shifted to Clinton rather than put up a prolonged but probably fruitless fight.

Bright, 68, said he tried to give Sanders an electoral vote to let the young people who supported the Vermont senator and “who were inspired by him know that some of us did hear them, did listen to them, do respect them and understand their disappointment.”

“I want them to know that not only can they come back to the process, but that they will be welcomed back; that there is room in the Democratic Party for their values,” Bright said in a statement he read after the voting was complete.

“Why they’ve got to go make these silly statements, I don’t know,” the governor said.

LePage also mentioned that he was disheartened by protesters outside the State House “screaming, ‘Dump Trump,’” during the proceedings.

He said he knows many people out there don’t like Trump or the “very, very corrupt” Clinton, but they need to recognize the votes have been cast and “the results are the results.”

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