Malheur County residents sound off on 2020 presidential election

(The Enterprise/File photo)

VALE – President Donald Trump announced his bid for reelection last week and while he is deeply unpopular in some parts of the nation, he is admired by a large swath of Malheur County. 

The county voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2016 election.

“He did quite well in our area and I would not look for that to change much,” said John Gaskill, the chairman of the Malheur County Republican Central Committee.

Through interviews and feedback via Facebook, many voters believe Trump not only will be reelected but should spend another four years in the White House.

“He is conservative, and he is not a politician and he is getting things done and he means what he says,” said Norm Crume, an Ontario city councilor. 

Trump announced his intention for another term at a rally in Florida under his slogan to “Keep America Great.”

In 2016, nearly 70 percent of those who cast a ballot in Malheur County voted for Trump. 

His main opponent, Hilary Clinton, collected 20 percent of the vote. 

In Oregon, Trump, did not do so well. 

Clinton claimed 50 percent of the ballots cast while Trump ended with 39 percent. 

Many locals see Trump as a determined, unconventional politician who is hampered by a malicious media. 

“All of the media is anti-Trump so, personally, I don’t think he gets a fair shake,” said Dan Joyce, Malheur County judge. 

Vale resident Francis Remple said she believes people “should leave him alone and let him do his job.”

“I just wish he wouldn’t tweet so much,” said Remple.

The president’s use of Twitter also troubles Malheur County Commissioner Don Hodge. 

“I just think sometimes he needs to be a little quieter,” said Hodge.

For Crume, though, the president’s outspoken manner is a welcome change.

“Does he open his mouth when he shouldn’t? Absolutely. But his core principles are right down the line with what I agree with,” said Crume. 

Hodge said he believes the president’s performance so far helped the nation.

“My thought has always been, personally, that it takes two terms for a president to get anything done because the first term you are learning the ropes,” said Hodge.

Gaskill said one of the president’s strengths is his unconventional political methods.

“He is just different in his approach to things and I think for some people that is appealing. He doesn’t stick to a script,” said Gaskill.

So far, there are 23 Democrats running for president. 

One Republican, former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld, is contemplating a primary challenge to Trump. Weld ran for vice president for the Libertarian Party in 2016. 

Gaskill said the Democrats have “a lot of people with a lot of varied experience.”

“They are all over the map on issues. They have plenty of opportunity to come up with some pretty good candidates. But it depends on how well it shakes out,” said Gaskill.

Support for the president was also evident on the Malheur Enterprise’s Facebook page. 

A question posed to area residents attracted views from more than 3,000 people and more than 50 comments. 

Rusty Talbot, from Vale, wrote “I will vote for Trump because the Democrats are killing the country with their stupid ideas and what they are doing now.”

Facebook Quotable

Last week the Enterprise asked social media readers what they thought about President Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House. Below is a sample of the feedback.

He’s done what he said he would and is committed to America first . . . so far none of the 24-plus have any thing that makes me choose differently.” – Peggy Carlson, Treasure Valley. 

“Absolutely will vote for him. He has done more for the county than the last three presidents combined, and he isn’t even a politician. He stands up for working Americans and has a great plan for a health care program. I just hope we can get it done in another four years.” – Bethany Yoder Flerchinger, Vale. 

He’s the only president I have ever seen work so hard to fulfill his campaign promises and I would vote for him again and I would for him again in a heartbeat. Besides, have you SEEN the crazies on the other side?” – Chris Oliver Ishida, Nyssa. 

And waste another four years of stagnation and not progress? H E double eff no!” – Jim Forrester, Ontario.  

Absolutely not. He has enacted more gun control than Obama ever did. He has done absolutely zero to lower our national debt.” – Allen McConathy, Ontario. 

Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377. 

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