Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential race by national media outlets Saturday morning, and his choice for vice president, Sen. Kamala Harris, is slated to be the first woman and the first person of color in the position.
Local residents and some visitors on State Street Saturday afternoon shared their thoughts on the declaration, and many expressed relief at hearing a result.
“It’s about time,” Jessica Montoya, a resident of Fresno visiting UCSB, told the News-Press. “It was the best thing to wake up to, honestly, after four years of literally not having a leader.
“I automatically associated the American flag with a hate symbol and it just turned into something different. Now, it’s finally like if I see an American flag, it’s actually something to be proud of.”
She added that Sen. Harris’s vice presidential status as a woman and person of color is historic, and adds onto her pride for the country.
“I love it,” UCSB student Samuel Tukia told the News-Press. “But I hope Trump concedes and it’s a peaceful transition of power. If he doesn’t, I don’t even know. What would that even do?”
A local Santa Barbara resident, Andrew Chenovick, referred to the 2020 Election as “the most ridiculous election ever” due to the fact that the country only now got a result.
“I’m happy. I think we’re all ready for a change, something different,” he told the News-Press.
Regarding the vice president, he said, “It’s cool that it’s historic, the first woman and the first black woman.”
Delilah Agabra, a Los Angeles native, said if it wasn’t for the “rhetoric of Trump, things would’ve been OK.”
“I’m just tired of this dude and the lies,” she told the News-Press. “He’s going to have to pay for that. Karma is going to come back to him.”
She said she hopes Mr. Biden will “carry the last four years and make the next four better.”
In addition, Ms. Agabra said with Sen. Harris’s African and Indian heritage and her husband being Jewish, she brings a lot of perspectives to the table.
“I see her strength,” she said.
Michele Sapp of San Diego, however, had different thoughts on the soon-to-be vice president.
“I’m not happy about her,” Ms. Sapp told the News-Press. “I just don’t think her intentions are right, so I hope he (Mr. Biden) survives four years, because if he doesn’t, it could be ugly.”
She said that she believes if it wasn’t for COVID-19 and mail-in voting, President Trump would have been reelected.
“COVID’s not his fault,” she continued. “It’s not like all of a sudden it’s going to go away because Biden’s president. I think there was too much focus on that, unfortunately.”
Patti Hosking, another San Diegan, said she’s “Biden all the way” and she “couldn’t be happier.”
“I have respect for how Biden has conducted his life,” she told the News-Press. “He’s had losses and I think he understands and has empathy for other people.”
Ms. Hosking added that she supports Sen. Harris as well.
“I’m OK with her because she’s intelligent and she knows the law. Obviously Trump doesn’t know the law,” she said. “My big issue is women’s rights, and I know she will stand strong for women’s rights.”
Bobbi McGinnis, the Santa Barbara County Republican Chairwoman, told the News-Press, “We’re just going to wait and see.”
“It’s not over yet. We’re going to be in court on Monday,” she said. “There are five states still up for grabs. We need to make sure the votes are all legal… Americans deserve the chance to make sure we have a legal and valid election.”
On the other hand, Gail Teton-Landis, the Santa Barbara County Democratic Chairwoman, said in a statement to the News-Press, “First and foremost, I feel relief and joy.”
“President Elect Joe Biden is a decent empathetic man, and I believe those characteristics will serve our nation well,” she said. “Of course, I understand how divided we are, but Joe Biden repeatedly speaks of being President of all Americans, and he has years of experience and his calm deliberateness will guide us through these difficult times.
“I am also elated that Vice President Elect Kamala Harris, is the first female and first woman of color to hold executive office and I am grateful to the over 74 million Americans who voted for change and hope.”