ANDERSON – Donald Trump's election as president caught many Madison County residents by surprise, regardless of which candidate they supported.
But many area voters are optimistic about the future.
Bennie Price, of Anderson, said he was happy by the election results, but he was even more inspired by Trump’s conciliatory victory speech early Wednesday.
“He’s wanting to mend some fences,” he said. “I think he really is concerned about the welfare of our nation.”
Bill Maxwell, of Anderson, said he was on the edge of his seat Tuesday night until he could feel content with the projected Trump victory. He said he’s looking forward to some teamwork between the president-elect and the Republican-dominated Congress.
“I would just like to see the government work more together, instead of this fighting,” he said. “I just hope it all works out for the best for everybody.”
Trump’s speech comforted some of those who didn’t quite support everything his campaign has been about.
John Roberson, of Anderson, said he enjoyed the speech, but he hopes the more polished, well-spoken man was the real Trump, rather than an act.
Diana Schlabach, of Anderson, also referred to there being two presidents-elect.
“We’ve seen two Donald Trumps – the first one that was scary but then I think he’s come along now with some people advising him,” she said. “Maybe he will actually do some good. We sure hope so, because that’s what the people want.”
Pam Darst, of Anderson, said she was quite surprised by the results but she is happy and anticipating a new leader in the Oval Office.
“I hope that he builds back up our military and supports law enforcement,” she said.
Jason Good, of Anderson, said he was thrilled to see the next president won’t be a typical politician.
“He will be different, nothing like what we’ve seen in our time,” he said.
Some people were shocked by the results, especially since many national polls had Democrat Hillary Clinton pegged as the next president.
"I'm sick — I can't believe we elected someone of his caliber," said 71-year-old Anderson resident Judy DeLey. "I am just as sick of politicians as anyone else, but I would have at least liked to have someone who I think can lead the country in the right way."
Josiah McWilliams, 29, of Anderson, echoed DeLey's disgust.
"I just feel that Donald Trump has no experience or political views," he said. "I didn't like Hillary either, but I feel like she was the lesser of two evils."
Suzanna Garlington, of Anderson, said even though she wasn’t the biggest fan of Clinton, she was very disappointed in the outcome of the presidential election.
“I am still kind of in disbelief,” she said. “I thought when he decided to run, I thought it was like a joke and we would say, ‘Ha ha!’ But no, this is like the worst joke ever.”