The Maine official who moved to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot on Thursday visited the White House this year to meet with President Biden and previously referred to the Electoral College as a “relic of white supremacy.”
On two separate occasions this year — once in March and another time in June — Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, was invited to the White House, according to White House visitor logs.
Bellows’ first trip came after she was invited to attend a Women’s History Month event held on March 22 at the White House, where she met with Biden and snapped a photo with him.
Bellows took to social media to share the photo she took with Biden at the March event and described the “amazing” experience she had meeting the president.
“Birthday jaunt to DC for a Women’s History Month event at the White House yesterday and walking around today,” she added in the post to Facebook at the time, according to the Washington Free Beacon, the initial outlet to report on Bellows’ trips to the White House.
Bellows’ March trip to the White House was also promoted by the secretary of state’s office in a press release earlier this year, in which she said it was “an honor to join” Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and other female leaders from across the country.
“It was an honor to join President Biden, Vice President Harris and amazing female leaders from around the country to celebrate Women’s History Month at the White House yesterday,” Bellows said at the time. “I hope to someday see the last of the ‘firsts’ like myself, but as we continue to see these groundbreaking leaders in new positions of power, I look forward to celebrating them as part of our nation’s history.”
Bellows’ second trip came on June 6, when she traveled to the White House with more than a dozen others to meet with Justin Vail, a special assistant to Biden. That trip, according to social media posts by others who made the journey with Bellows, appears to have been organized by Issue One Reform, which describes itself as “the leading crosspartisan political reform group” in D.C. that works to “unite Republicans, Democrats, and independents in the movement to fix our broken political system and build an inclusive democracy that works for everyone.”
Responding to a June 8 post to X from Dustin Czarny, a Democrat who made the trip and serves as the Onondaga County elections commissioner and the Democratic Caucus chair of the New York State Elections Commissioner Association, Bellows wrote, “Yes! That was such a powerful part of our trip to DC. Democrats, Republicans and nonpartisan elections officials united on issues of protecting election workers and finding critical election infrastructure.”
Bellows, who represented Maine’s 14th district in the state Senate for roughly four years, has served as the Secretary of State for Maine since 2021.
Shortly after taking office, Bellows penned an op-ed for a progressive platform known as the Democracy Docket. In her writing, titled “Voting Rights for Our Neighbors Matter As Much as Our Own,” Bellows touted her efforts to make “voting more accessible” and said she sought the position of secretary of state in Maine because she “was truly frightened for our democracy” following the 2020 presidential election.
Bellows also took aim at the Electoral College in her column, claiming it is “the relic of white supremacy” that prevents voters from being represented fairly.
In her ruling to disqualify Trump from the state’s 2024 ballot, Bellows cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that bars people who have “engaged in insurrection” from running for elected office without two-thirds congressional approval.
The clause was originally meant to bar former Confederate soldiers and officers from holding positions in the U.S. government or military.
It was also referenced by Colorado’s highest court in a 4-3 ruling last week similarly barring Trump from that state’s primary ballot. The decision was challenged by the Colorado GOP, setting up a battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bellows’ affection for Biden and Harris and disdain for Trump is no secret.
In an October 2020 post to social media, Bellows said she was “excited to vote for Biden and Harris.” Before that, in October 2020, Bellows questioned on social media whether the “obsession” with 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was because people “just can’t deal [with] the magnitude of fears of what Trump presidency brings.”
Bellows has faced backlash over her decision to remove Trump from the state ballot from multiple Republicans and those within her own party, including Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine.
“I voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th insurrection. I do not believe he should be re-elected as President of the United States,” Golden said Thursday night. “However, we are a nation of laws, therefore until he is actually found guilty of the crime of insurrection, he should be allowed on the ballot.”
Bellows defended her move while responding to Golden’s criticism during a CNN interview on Friday.
“I reviewed Section Three of the 14th Amendment very carefully and determined that Section Three of the 14th Amendment does not say ‘conviction,’ it says ‘engage,'” Bellows said.
“And, let’s go back and keep in mind that the events of January 6, 2021, were unprecedented and tragic,” Bellows continued. “This was an attack, not only on the Capitol and the government officials, the former vice president, members of Congress, but an attack on the rule of law.”
“And the weight of evidence that I reviewed indicated that it was, in fact, an insurrection,” she added. “And Mr. Trump engaged in that insurrection under Section Three of the 14th Amendment.”
Bellows’ office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Houston Keene and Liz Elkind contributed to this report.