LEWISTON — The election of celebrity businessman Donald Trump as president left some residents shocked and others giddy Wednesday.

“I love the fact that Trump got elected,” Clinton Spence of Lewiston said. “We really need change.”

Over lunch at Simones’ Hot Dog Stand, Jeff Simonton said people favored “the lesser of two evils” in tapping the New York City developer to succeed President Barack Obama.

Simonton said he couldn’t cast a ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton despite concerns about some of “the terrible things” Trump said during the campaign. Like many, he said he opted for “the devil we didn’t know” rather than a career politician.

“We don’t really know what Donald Trump is going to do” in office, Simonton said, but he hopes it works out well for the country.

Sadie Landry, eating lunch with her family, said she felt let down by the results. She said Trump “is rude and lacks tact” and hasn’t shown a much-needed ability to remain “strong and calm when things are crazy.”


She said she’s trying to feel optimistic without much success. Perhaps, she said, Trump didn’t really mean much of what he said during his long slog on the campaign trail.

Duke Holm, her brother, said he hesitated about voting for Clinton but ultimately chose her on Election Day.

He said he was disappointed at the way Trump “promoted intolerance” toward everyone from a reporter with a handicap to immigrants trying to make a new life in America.

Trump “is teaching society to be racist and not like these people,” Holm said.

For Kyle Wright of Augusta, who stopped in for a hot dog, “the honest candidate won” and, with luck, will deliver on his promise to create jobs and avoid war.

Wright said he’s a little worried about Trump’s inexperience in government. But, he said, the media “is going to be so on top of him we’re going to know if his fly’s undone,” so he won’t get away with much.


Mark Vasiliauskas of Lewiston said he is “very happy” that Trump emerged as the victor. “America made the right choice,” he said.

He said he hopes the new president will impose a stronger immigration policy, balance the budget and beef up the military.

Vasiliauskas said he expects Trump to create “a strong Cabinet” to oversee the government.

“I put my trust in Mr. Trump to do the best job he can,” Vasiliauskas said. “I don’t want to see another Clinton generation running this country.”

A “pretty upset” Stanley Hollenbeck of Lewiston offered a different take.

Hollenbeck said Trump is “making it OK to be bigoted and fascist.” The best he can hope for, he said, is that Trump will carry on with business as usual and “in four years, if everything hasn’t turned upside down, hopefully we’ll have another chance.”


Spence said he’s eager to see Trump repeal Obamacare and begin to “make America great again.”

“If anybody can, he can,” Spence said.

Simonton said he’s concerned about the divide that he’s seen develop in society and among people he knows. People on each side tend to seek out media sources that confirm their own views and, increasingly, won’t even remain friends on Facebook with people on the other side, he said.

Lewiston’s Richard Robert said he’s just glad it’s all over.

“Both parties need to learn to work together,” he said. “Never mind the finger-pointing.”

“They’re worse than two kids,” said his 85-year-old mother, Marilyn Robert.

Holm said the reality is that neither Clinton nor Trump was a great candidate.

Looking ahead, he said, “I’m kind of putting my hands up and hoping things go well for the next four years.”



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