During a week that found Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump deeper embroiled in controversy, more disaffected Republicans began to voice their support for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Republican donor and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman announced her support for Clinton on Aug. 2, as did retiring Republican New York Rep. Richard Hanna—both coming a day after Jeb Bush adviser Sally Bradshaw did the same.
Here are the prominent Republicans who have said they’ll be crossing party lines and voting for Clinton in November:
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Rep. Richard Hanna
Hanna, a retiring Republican representative for New York, on Aug. 2 became the first Republican Congressman to publicly declare he will vote for Clinton.
“If I compare the life stories of both candidates I find Trump deeply flawed in endless ways,” he wrote in a column published on Syracuse.com. “While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton. I will be hopeful and resolute in my belief that being a good American who loves his country is far more important than parties or winning and losing.”
Former Sen. Larry Pressler
Pressler, a former three-term Republican Senator from South Dakota, endorsed Clinton on June 12, the day of the deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, criticizing Trump’s positions on gun control. He previously endorsed President Obama in 2008 and 2012.
“Secretary Clinton would be able to handle such explosive situations which are terrorist inspired much better than Donald Trump,” Pressler said, citing her opposition to the National Rifle Association. “At last we must recognize that we need a president who will take on the NRA.”
“I can’t believe I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, but I am,” Pressler said in a follow-up interview with The Hill on June 13. “A lot of Republicans are just saying, ‘I’ll sit it out, I won’t vote.’ Or, ‘I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.’ But if they don’t vote, they are giving more power to dark forces.”
Bradshaw, a senior adviser to former Republican candidate Jeb Bush, announced on Aug. 1 that she has left the Republican Party and registered as an unaffiliated voter.
“This election cycle is a test,” she said in an interview with CNN. “As much as I don’t want another four years of (President Barack) Obama’s policies, I can’t look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump. I can’t tell them to love their neighbor and treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and then vote for Donald Trump. I won’t do it.”
She specifically criticized Trump’s recent comments about the mother of a fallen Muslim Army soldier, saying they reinforced her decision.
Bradshaw said she hasn’t yet decided whether to vote for Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson or a write-in candidate, but she said she’ll vote for Clinton if the race appears to be close in her home state of Florida. “If the race in Florida is close, I will vote for Hillary Clinton,” she said. “That is a very difficult statement for me to make. I disagree with her on several important issues. … This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president.”
Comella, a longtime aide to Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, told CNN on Aug. 2 that she plans to vote for Clinton. Christie has been a strong Trump supporter since he ended his own presidential bid in February. Comella stopped working for Christie after his campaign ended. She has since started a consulting company, CNN reported.
“Donald Trump has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people’s anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the ‘other,'” Comella said in the CNN interview. “I’m voting for Hillary Clinton in November and I’m voting for her because I don’t believe it’s enough to say you aren’t for Donald Trump. My mom and dad were Republicans, but they didn’t always vote Republican. There are times when principle trumps (no pun intended) party and we have to be okay with acknowledging that.”
The Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO, a prominent Republican fundraiser, announced Aug. 2 that she will vote for Clinton. Whitman served as an adviser to former Republican presidential nominee John McCain in his 2008 presidential run and ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010.
“To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character,” Whitman said in a Facebook post on Aug. 2. “It is clear to me that Secretary Clinton’s temperament, global experience and commitment to America’s bedrock national values make her the far better choice in 2016 for President of the United States. In a tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide. I urge all Republicans to reject Donald Trump this November.”
The former Treasury secretary in the administration of President George W. Bush endorsed Clinton for president in a Washington Post column published June 24, saying “it’s time to put country before party.”
“When it comes to the presidency, I will not vote for Donald Trump,” Paulson wrote. “I will not cast a write-in vote. I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton, with the hope that she can bring Americans together to do the things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world. To my Republican friends: I know I’m not alone.”
Salter served as chief of staff to Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain and was also a senior adviser during McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“I’m with her,” he said in a Tweet on May 3, voicing disapproval that “the GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer.”
In a column, titled “Why This Republican Won’t Vote for Trump,” published June 29 on Real Clear Politics, Salter was more explicit about his support. “Whatever Hillary Clinton’s faults, she’s not ignorant or hateful or a nut,” he wrote. “She acts like an adult, and understands the responsibilities of an American president. That might not be a ringing endorsement. But in 2016, the year of Trump’s s campaign, it’s more than enough.”
Republican Lezlee Westine, a former aide to President George W. Bush, said she is supporting Clinton, per a statement published Aug. 8 in the Washington Post.
“Our nation faces a unique set of challenges that require steady and experienced leadership,” Westine said in the statement. “That is why today I am personally supporting Hillary Clinton.”
Westine was the White House director of public liaison and the deputy assistant to the president during the Bush administration.
“She has the expertise and commitment to American values to grow the economy, create jobs and protect America at home and abroad,” Westine said about Clinton, without specifying why she disagrees with Trump.
Lavin, who served in the administrations of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, said he will break with his 40-year voting record to support Clinton.
“It might not be entirely clear that Hillary Clinton deserves to win the presidency, but it is thunderingly clear that Donald Trump deserves to lose,” he wrote in a column published Aug. 7 on CNN. “From this premise, I will do something that I have not done in 40 years of voting: I will vote for the Democratic nominee for president. The depressing truth of the Republican nominee is that Donald Trump talks a great game but he is the emperor who wears no clothes.”
Lavin, who was Reagan’s political director, called Trump “a bigot, a bully, and devoid of grace or magnanimity.”
Milliken, a Republican and former governor of Michigan, said he was “saddened and dismayed” by the party’s choice of nominee this year.
“This nation has long prided itself on its abiding commitments to tolerance, civility and equality. We face a critically important choice in this year’s presidential election that will define whether we maintain our commitment to those ideals or embark on a path that has doomed other governments and nations throughout history,” Milliken said in a statement, first reported on Aug. 8 by the Detroit Free Press. “I am saddened and dismayed that the Republican Party this year has nominated a candidate who has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not embrace those ideals.”
Milliken has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats for various positions in the past, and he plans to vote for Clinton in November.
“Because I feel so strongly about our nation’s future, I will be joining the growing list of former and present government officials in casting my vote for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016,” he said.
William Ruckelshaus and William Reilly
Ruckelshaus, who served as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and William Reilly, who served as the EPA administrator under Republican President George H.W. Bush, both endorsed Clinton on Aug. 9 because of her climate change policies.
In a joint statement, the two former officials criticized Trump for “a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws,” the Washington Post reported. They described Clinton as “committed to reasonable, science-based policy.”