The American people have spoken, and their choice for the next President of the United States Tuesday night was Republican Donald J. Trump.
Trump becomes the 45th president in the nation’s history. But no matter where you go, people’s opinions of the candidates will differ. Even in Garner.
Haley Sotack, 21, was not in favor of Trump. But she didn’t like Clinton either.
“I think both the candidates were absolutely terrible and I couldn’t in my right conscience vote for either one of them,” Sotack said.
Sotack voted for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. She said she didn’t trust Clinton and said Trump was “ignorant.”
Melissa Jordan, 28, voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. She said she didn’t agree much with what Clinton said, but rather she voted for Hillary because she was a woman and wanted to see history made again.
“Even though I don’t stand for everything she stood for, I stand for women,” Jordan said. “I stand on the fact that women should have just as much an opportunity as a man should. And I did want change, and the fact that not only did we elect a black president, but now we can move forward to even greater things by electing a woman into office.”
She said she also disagreed with Trump’s campaign message.
Karen Light voted for Trump and the rest of the Republican ticket. She said the reason she voted for Trump was because he wasn’t Clinton, and that he wasn’t a politician.
“It was a relief. It was an exciting surprise to me,” Light said of Trump winning. “I was thinking in my mind ‘Oh she will probably get it. She worked really hard as well.’ But I’m happy. I just can’t believe it. I’m really excited that maybe we can all come together as a wonderful country again.”
Light said she thinks back to the day after September 11 in wake of the terrorist attacks.
“As a country we were so on board with each other,” she said. “ Everybody was talking and grouping together as a Americans...And I just want that country back to when we were all loving each other, we stood together, and that’s what makes this country great.”
While Trump was the choice most Americans picked, he was not the primary choice for most voters in Garner – at least on Election Day.
Clinton won four of the six precincts in Garner. She earned 2,457 votes on election day to Trump’s 1,964 votes. Early voting numbers have not been released yet, but with such a margin, and based on the recent history of Garner voters, it is likely she led in early voting as well.
The governor’s race produced a similar result. Those same precincts that leaned in Clinton’s favor also went to Democrat Roy Cooper. And the two precincts that leaned toward Trump, leaned toward Republican Pat McCrory.
Cooper led in Garner 2,601 votes to McCrory’s 1,958 votes. As of Wednesday, Cooper held a lead in North Carolina by the slimmest of margins. There will likely be a recount, and the results of the recount are expected to be announced on Nov. 18.
Garner’s preference in its candidates were in line with the rest of Wake County, which also leaned toward Clinton and Cooper. Still two precincts in Garner felt Trump was the best candidate. Those two precincts – Smith Elementary School and Heather Hills Clubhouse – tend to vote Republican. The rest of the state agreed. Trump won big in rural areas of the state, which helped him win.
In his acceptance speech Wednesday, Trump said it was “time for us to come together as one united people.”
As Clinton conceded defeat, she told her supporters to have an “open mind,” and give Trump a chance to lead. While the three voters had differing opinions on the candidates, they agree with Trump’s and Clinton’s recent comments.
“Winners do not need to gloat, and the people whose candidate did not get in, they do not need to give up hope,” Light said.
Sotack said “I think he’s right that we need to come together, but he’s kind of the one that I think has split us apart a lot. But overall he is the President now and I think we need to accept that, and I think we need to help him help the American people.”
Said Jordan: “We have no choice but to give him a shot.”