The tally has reportedly grown to 22 Republicans who are declaring their non-support of front-running presidential candidate Donald Trump if he wins the nomination.
Rep. Reid Ribble in December may have been the first Congressman to announce he would not support Trump as the GOP nominee, according to Madison, Wis. TV station WKOW.
"He's continued to be, in my opinion, against the civil discourse that I so deeply believe in, that would allow us to have a real live debate on the issues that are important to this country," Ribble said, according to WKOW.com
Freshman Sen. Ben Sasse
of Nebraska also is among the high-profile elected lawmakers to give a thumbs-down to supporting Trump, saying he prefers a third-party candidate. He was closely followed by GOP Reps. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Scott Rigell of Virginia, The Hill
Outside the Beltway, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, conservative commentators Erick Erickson, Glenn Beck and radio host Steve Deace, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol also won't back Trump, The Hill reports.
The others who make up the roster of 22 non-backers, The Hill reports, are: Jay Caruso of the conservative website RedState; Eliot Cohen, a former George W. Bush official; Doug Heye, a former RNC communications director; Kevin Madden, a former Mitt Romney aide; former RNC chairman Mel Martínez; GOP strategist Liz Mair; former New York Gov. George Pataki; former Texas Rep. Ron Paul; former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge; former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts; conservative New York Times contributor Peter Wehner; and former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.
But other Republicans worry a Trump-vote boycott could backfire.
"My impression is the voters are voting with their own minds and they're not looking for direction or guidance from me or anybody else," Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn tells The Hill.
Despite the high-profile efforts by the Club for Growth and other deep-pocketed conservative groups
to stop the Trump momentum with ad campaigns in battleground states like Florida and Ohio, the no-Trump vote crusade has had little impact so far, The Hill reports.
And the two most powerful Republicans in Washington — House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — remain pledged to back the party's nominee.
Still, according to The Hill, McConnell is advising colleagues also on the ticket this fall to be ready to "run against the nominee."
"He said, 'Be prepared to run against the nominee,'" one unnamed Republican senator tells The Hill, adding McConnell assured colleagues the party would direct the bulk of its resources to saving the Senate if it became clear Trump or any other nominee had no chance of winning.
"He said in 1996 it was clear that [Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole] was going to lose, and the party put resources into Senate and House races instead."
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