DeKalb County residents respond to Obama's win
Jaclyn Butz clicked between CNN and Fox News coverage of the national election results Tuesday, amused at their different approaches to President Barack Obama’s emerging victory.
The DeKalb woman fell asleep not too long after Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s concession speech, pleased that the nation would not be led by a man whose views on marriage, foreign policy and abortion she disliked.
“I was excited it was not nearly as close as they predicted it would be,” Butz said Wednesday.
Her candidate didn’t just carry the nation; Obama also carried DeKalb County. About 71 percent of the county’s 57,915 registered voters cast ballots in the election. Obama garnered 21,171 votes in DeKalb County to Romney’s 18,906 votes, according unofficial vote totals posted on the county clerk’s website.
Butz easily rattled off the reasons she disliked Romney as she served coffee at a DeKalb location Wednesday, but Republicans and Democrats across the county had a variety of reactions to the election’s outcome – and a variety of reasons for their votes.
William Ring of rural DeKalb said he’s a longtime Republican who values his Second Amendment rights. He voted for Romney although he had misgivings about Romney’s business dealings, but his misgivings about Obama’s military policies were stronger.
“He’s not a military man,” Ring said. “That’s the scariest thing. I think he’s cutting corners with our weapons. ... Once you start slacking, bad things happen.”
But Ring’s friend, Tammie Baumgartner of Maple Park, is a Democrat who went to bed Tuesday when the race was still too close to call.
“I had nightmares I’d wake up and find Mitt president,” she said.
Republican Ken Anderson, who was re-elected in County Board District 3, kept tabs on the election results from his computer at home Tuesday. He was disappointed Wednesday that his man didn’t perform better in DeKalb County but content to support the re-elected Commander in Chief.
“He is our president now; the people have spoken,” Anderson said. “Hopefully, he and the House of Representatives can learn how to work together, perhaps get some things done.”
Anderson thought Romney was the better choice from creating jobs and improving the economy.
“I thought he could help the country with his background and his way of approaching the problems,” Anderson said. “I don’t think the president has really reached out. I think Mr. Romney has more of a business sense.”
In Sycamore, Heather Schnurr-Trebe wondered if the candidates who placed signs in her front yard would want them back. Her family started out with a “proud union home” sign and a leftover Obama 2008 sign. By the election, she had an Obama 2012 sign, and signs for State’s Attorney-elect Richard Schmack, County Board District 4 candidate Joe Bassett and circuit judge candidate Ron Matekaitis.
She was so excited Obama won that she stayed up until 11 p.m. Tuesday watching the news coverage.
“We were right once,” she said. “We were right again.”
Meanwhile, DeKalb 4th Ward Alderman Brendon Gallagher, a fiscal conservative, marveled at the science campaigning has become. He had heard Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy visited 49 and 50 states, respectively, before the 1960 election, while Obama and Romney visited fewer than a dozen.
He supported Romney but figures people need to get behind their president after the election is over.
“The United States will continue to move forward,” Gallagher said.