By Blaine Hill, Courtney Plunk and Violeta Trevizo
After a long election season, Americans could not wait to see who would be the next president of the United States.
It was no different for Lubbock as local GOP members gathered at the Legacy Event Center for their watch party of the 2016 election.
“I think that it’s a really exciting election year, and from what I can tell from my Facebook feed, people are really excited regardless of who they voted for,” said Ann-Marie Carruth, a justice court judge and professor in Lubbock.
Megan McMillan, the chairwoman of Tech College Republicans, felt the same way.
She said Tech Republicans worked hard throughout the election to swing votes for the Republican Party. They even traveled to New Mexico this past weekend to block-walk and campaign.
Their choice of New Mexico was to help reach voters outside of Texas.
“We had a lot of positive feedback there,” McMillian said. “Like yeah, we had some doors slammed in our face. But overall, it was very positive.”
Another excited attendee at the GOP party was Jodey Arrington, the new District 19 congressman for Texas.
Arrington said he got in the business of politics because he wanted to make a difference.
“I have a real passion for rural America because that’s where I grew up; in this district in a small town,” he said.
Looking forward to D.C., Arrington, who ran uncontested, said he was most excited about representing the agriculture of his district and being a different kind of politician.
He stressed that a good leader helps people come together rather than calling them names and ripping them apart.
“The values that we hold so dear here and that are reflected in the culture of Texas Tech and of West Texas have prepared me to be a strong and effective representative for our region,” Arrington said.
Carruth said she loved the values the GOP stood for.
“I think my favorite part of the party is more about our common core in family and our Christian-based roots,” she said.
Dolores and Mike Watson, a Lubbock couple, said they voted for Trump in hopes of “Making America Great Again.”
Dolores Watson said she cast her vote for Trump because of his immigration and military initiatives. Mike Watson said his vote went to Trump because he was “sick of liberals, and everything they represent.”
Fifty-two percent of Texans cast their ballot for the Republican candidate, according to the New York Times.
Texas Republicans were quick to congratulate the Trump-Pence campaign after the Associated Press called the win. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick released the following statement just before 2 a.m. CST.
“This is a great night for our country and a great night for Texas,” Patrick stated. “It is a new day in America. Change is finally coming to Washington. The voices of voters who have been ignored by the Washington establishment, the Democrat establishment and the media establishment, finally were heard loud and clear.”
Senator John Cornyn also released a statement shortly after saying he looks forward to working with Trump for the people of Texas and the U.S.
‘The American people have delivered a resounding message that they’re ready for change, and eager for Republicans to tackle the big challenges facing our nation,” Cornyn stated in a press release.