The results of the 2016 presidential election shocked just about everyone. And while the way the vote went in New York was relatively unsurprising, the race in Rockland was fairly close.
As expected Hillary Clinton won New York and its 29 electoral votes but the race in Rockland was decided by fewer than 7,000 votes.
Clinton received 63,454 votes from the 277 districts in Rockland, amounting to 50.75 percent of the vote, while President-elect Donald Trump received 57,148 votes, or 45.71 percent. (Independents Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, and write-ins accounted for the rest of the votes.)
Trump narrowly earned the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win the election, pulling in 279 to Clinton's 22 8. Electoral votes for Michigan and Arizona, leaning toward Trump, have not yet been awarded. If he wins both, he will end up with 306 electoral votes.
Clinton became the first presidential nominee to win the popular vote, but lose the election since Al Gore in 2000. She compiled 59,926,587 votes (47.7 percent) to 59,695,020 votes (47.5) for Trump.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who was reelected, said in a statement released Wednesday morning that he had spoken with Trump and offered his congratulations while also thanking Clinton for her service.
“This was a divisive and hard-fought election, and the outcome surprised many Americans from both political parties," said Schumer, who is in line to be Senate Minority Leader. "It is time for the country to come together and heal the bitter wounds from the campaign. Senate Democrats will spend the coming days and weeks reflecting on these results, hearing from the American people, and charting a path forward to achieve our shared goals and to defend our values."
Local official react to the election
Local officials and legislators reacted differently to the results as the dust settled on Wednesday.
“It just shows the importance of our democracy, how we can have a change in leadership and do so peacefully,” State Sen. David Carlucci (D) said.
Carlucci, who won another term as the representative in the 38th Senatorial District, said that with the election settles it is important that officials and legislators govern, find common ground, and work together.
Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D) echoed a similar sentiment.
"As the election season comes to a close it is important that we switch from politics to government. I am committed to working with members of both political parties, at the federal, state and local level, to address the needs of New Yorkers," he said in a statement.
Contentious and unprecedented was how Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann described the actual campaign. He stayed up with his son to watch the results come in early Wednesday morning.
“It’s remarkable. It’s historic. It’s like something we’ve never really seen before in recent years,” Hoehmann said of Trump being elevated to the nation’s highest position. “The people spoke. They spoke very loudly and they’re looking for a new way to do things.”
Hoehmann also described Trump's lack of a military service or public service record prior to being elected to the presidency as remarkable and unique in history. Trump was the consummate outsider, and that’s what people were looking for, he said.
“I had hoped for a different outcome, but the President-elect now needs the opportunity to lead. I will allow him that chance and I hope my fellow citizens will do the same," Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe (D-Montebello) said in a statement released Wednesday.
Wolfe offered congratulations and condolences to those who won and lost their elections, and was praiseful of "electing many hard-working, honest and highly qualified candidates to elective office" within the county.
The results were seen as far more bleak by others.
“I’m obviously not pleased with the outcome,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, who was reelected Tuesday night. Jaffee extolled Clinton and said she would’ve been an extraordinary leader.
“I’m not optimistic but I’m hopeful that Mr. Trump will find a path toward, choosing leadership within his cabinet that will assist him in providing government as we would hope, and responding to the variety of issues that impact so many in this country, in a positive and intelligent way.”
Jaffee has heard from people in the community who are scared, fearful, and concerned by what a Trump presidency could bring.
“We in New York will have to stand firm and strong on certain issues that we have discussed,” she said, such as programs for women, immigration, the environment, and childcare. “We need to stand firm as a state and work together.”
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