Editor’s Note: On Thursday, Democratic candidate Joe Biden was declared the winner in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth’s 20 electoral votes put Biden above the required threshold of 270 electoral votes. Here is reaction from Palm Beach County and Florida officials about the 2020 presidential election result and what the Trump presidency meant to the county and state — plus what comes next. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
LGTBTQ+ Democratic Caucus president says Biden ‘respects laws’
Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, issued this statement: “Once again, we will have a president who understands and cherishes the role of US leadership throughout the world, defends our civil rights, respects our laws, believes in science, and recognizes the principle that we are one united citizenry working toward our common goals…”
“In President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the United States has the most progressive and the most pro-LGBTQ leadership agenda in history.”
Lincoln Project co-founder says good riddance
“America has rid itself of the worst president in our history,” said Rick Wilson, a founder of the The Lincoln Project, a group of republicans and former party members that worked to defeat Trump. “It has been sweeping repudiation of the kind of malevolent character that permeated the White House.”
Winning both the electoral college and the popular vote was very much “a referendum of Donald Trump,” Wilson said.
What about GOP and Trump charges of socialists and radical leftists that will control the Biden administration?
“Don’t say the word socialism in South Florida,” he added. “It’s a bad thing. It did not help their cause at all. It did not help the reality on the ground politically. Trump found one of the bright spots and took advantage of it. It was never going to come out any other way with the Cubans.”
Wilson said he did not expect Biden to win Florida, so they focused their energies on other states. But he said the role the Lincoln Project played was pivotal.
“The Democratic Party of Florida cannot organize a two-car motorcade,” Wilson said. “They are terrible at this work — nothing personal against any one person. The Florida GOP is the best-run Republican Party and in the country. I can’t tell you how many times I said you have to push back on this right away, you have to assertively knock this down today. But they couldn’t and wouldn’t do it because they were afraid of making the Bernie bros upset.”
Trump will find political safe harbor in Palm Beach County and Florida
The one consolation for Trump in the election’s results was the president’s overwhelming victory in his adopted state, Florida.
Trump “whitewashed” Biden in the state, as one pollster noted, saying that given Florida’s history of razor-thin results the president’s 3.4% margin of victory equaled a landslide.
Trump’s coattails extended to flipping two Miami congressional seats from blue to red and retaining a vacant seat in Naples. What Republican state officials called a “red tsunami” also resoundingly thwarted the spending of millions by Democratic and progressive coalitions to flip the Florida House —or at least even the partisan ranks in Tallahassee.
In those results, Florida, where Trump’s Southern White House is located and which his supporters hope will be home to his presidential museum someday, offered Trump political safe harbor as it did after the “blue wave” 2018 midterms.
Political watchers said that election two years ago was a referendum on Trump’s first two years in office. Trump boasted he would stun the political world — as he had done in 2016 — but instead suffered a devastating loss of 40-plus seats in the U.S. House and numerous governorships.
But in Florida, Trump’s political godson, Gov. Ron DeSantis, won his race. And former Gov. Rick Scott defeated incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Rick Scott. The flip of that U.S. Senate seat would prove pivotal in Trump’s impeachment trial early this year as well as in the rushed confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Barrett last month.