By Amy H. Peterson
Emmet County voters showed up for election night, with over two-thirds of eligible voters casting ballots Tuesday night.
Donald J. Trump trended toward victory in Emmet County throughout the night, and ended with 3,121 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 1,356 votes.
The results from key battlground states delayed the calling of the election for Trump until the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
Late Wednesday evening Trump was credited with 279 electoral votes with leads in both Michigan and Arizona. Clinton had 228 elector votes with a lead in New Hampshire. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. Nationally, Clinton held a lead in the popular vote 47.66 percent to 47.5 percent for Trump.
Trump called for unity in his victory speech.
“As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families.
It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.
We’re going to get to work immediately for the American people. And we’re going to be doing a job that hopefully you will be so proud of your president. You’ll be so proud. Again, it’s my honor. It was an amazing evening. It’s been an amazing two-year period. And I love this country.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton had called Trump previously to congratulate him, and gave a similar unifying message in her concession speech.
“This is painful and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this. Our campaign was never about one person or even one election, it was about the country we love and about building an America that’s hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
“Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things; the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.”
At press time, two of the community leaders we contacted weighed in with their views of the election results.
Julie Clark, Estherville City Council member for Ward 2 said:
“This election is historic in many ways, not just in the election of a billionaire with no political experience to the office of president, but with Republican victories in Congressional races and other down-ballot races as well. People in rural America turned out in record breaking numbers to have their values protected, and their voices heard. Religious liberty & our right to bear arms are safe again. And now it’s time to heal as a country after one of the most contentious races in recent memory, maybe ever. God bless America!”
Valerie Newhouse, President, Iowa Lakes Community College said:
“I’m glad people went to the polls and voted. I hope this is a moment that unites us in our communities and nation, and that we can move forward from here.”
The Electoral College will meet Dec. 19 to certify the votes before President-Elect Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, 2017.