Government

Mahoning County Convinced Munroe Trump Could Win

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe says once he became a supporter of Donald Trump he was confident that the businessman and reality show host could win the presidential election based on what he saw in Mahoning County.

“I certainly thought that we needed him to win. I thought that America needed him to win and I’ve always been cautiously optimistic that it would happen,” he said at the party’s headquarters in Boardman.

Initially a strong supporter of Gov. John Kasich, Munroe offered that observation a few hours before news organizations formally called the race for Trump shortly after 2:30 a.m.

“The fact that we had over 6,000 Democrats cross over to support Trump, the fact that we had over 21,000 previously unaffiliated voters who wanted to get involved in the Republican primary, the enthusiasm and the excitement was just off the charts,” the GOP chairman said.

Trump narrowly lost Mahoning County to Clinton, who took 49.3% of the vote to the Republican’s 46.4%. However, he carried both Trumbull and Columbiana counties, winning them with 50.8% and 68.0% of the vote, respectively.

Ohio was among the states Trump claimed by 11 p.m., part of a victory that stunned the political establishment and the broader public.

As of 3 a.m. CNN was projecting that Trump 288 electoral votes to 215 for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, with a handful of states still counting votes.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, who also supported Kasich in the Republican primary, issued a statement following Trump’s victory on the state. Borges noted that Ohio hosted the first GOP primary debate and the Republican National Convention. He also said Trump built a “winning coalition” composed of Republicans, independents and disaffected Democrats in the state and congratulated his team for its victory.

“Like always, the state of Ohio has been the center of the political universe this election cycle,” Borges remarked. “I have said since Day One that Ohio would do its part to help deliver 18 electoral votes for the Republican nominee, and I’m pleased with the efforts of staff, county chairs and volunteers across the state who were a major part of Donald Trump’s victory tonight.”

Munroe said Trump’s victory showed how people “have grown frustrated and angry not just with the Democrats but also with the Republicans and in particular with Washington, D.C.

“For so long we’ve been sending politicians to Washington – they’re politically correct, they say the right things, they can speak to reporters without getting into trouble yet things aren’t getting any better in the country,” he continued. “People are just frustrated and disgusted with the federal system and in Donald Trump they see somebody who while he may not always say the right things there’s a hope and an expectation and a promise that finally we can send somebody to Washington who can bring about some real change in this country.”

Trump will go to Washington with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, which hopefully “will give us an opportunity to get some good things done,” Munroe said.

“We knew it was going to be close,” U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said of the presidential race in the hours before Trump’s win. Elected to his eight term in the House of Representatives, the Trumbull County Democrat was touted as a potential cabinet appointee in a Clinton administration.

Ryan, who visited both the Mahoning and Trumbull Democrats’ election parties last night, said the Republican’s message on trade and income inequality resonated with voters.

“There’s a lot of people in the country that recognize that they’re not doing that well,” he said at St. Luke Banquet Hall in Boardman. “They knew Trump and all his warts and they voted for him anyway because they felt like no matter what happens, they didn’t have anything to lose.”

At Enzo’s Restaurant and Banquet Hall in Warren, where Trumbull County Democrats were gathered, Ryan thanked the party’s supporters for their efforts and praised the upcoming generation of Democrats.

“These elections are never easy,” he remarked. “This election was dirtier and longer and nastier than many others that we’ve been through.”

Pictured: Mark Munroe at Republican headquarters Tuesday night.

DOWNLOAD:
Mahoning County election returns
Trumbull County election returns
Columbiana County election returns

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.