Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney may have scored Georgia’s electoral votes Tuesday, but incumbent President Barack Obama took the nation and historically blue Liberty County.
Locals offered mixed thoughts on the race Wednesday morning in the wake of Romney’s concession after losing swing states like Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa.
“I’m happy with the outcome …,” said Jeff Barnes, a retired military serviceman and law-enforcement officer. “Romney came to the table with some pretty good points, and his position on a lot of things was solid. I just feel like Obama needed a chance and another four years to get his plan in action and execute it — because nobody disagrees that [former president George W.] Bush messed us up for years to come.”
Waiting in line for lunch at a local café, Kevin Hodges offered one short line in contrast.
“Everybody that voted for (Obama) should have to pay the debt that he created,” Hodges said.
Two men accompanying Hodges declined to speak on record, but one added he is not happy with the outcome but knows people have got to move on.
Donut Connection owners Johnny and Shannon Maggart said they are satisfied with the outcome.
The couple, who bought the restaurant last year, said they have not seen any drastic changes in their business that would influence their decisions. Consequently, their feelings as individuals rang out.
“For me, it was just a gut feeling,” Johnny Maggart said, adding he felt Romney was “elitist and out of touch.”
“I didn’t really like Romney’s take on women very well — I just didn’t feel like he was very in tune with women voters,” Shannon Maggart said.
Johnny Maggart acknowledged that some aspects of Obama’s first term could have been better, but he also said Congress bears some blame for its gridlocks.
Johnny Maggart, who is former military, added that this was the first election in which he voted. The high visibility of election issues on social media was part of what motivated him to hit the polls, he said.
While several people declined to comment in person Wednesday, many on the Courier’s Facebook page sounded off.
“I hope no one liked having rights,” Tara Wright-Mathenia commented in reaction to the news that several networks reported Obama’s win. “I will miss my second-amendment right, part of my taxes for insurance I didn’t think was right, among a ton of other things. God didn’t have anything to do with him winning, but we need all the prayers we can get now for (what) we are getting ready to go through.”
“When you fall as a nation, please don’t include me,” Valerie Withrow commented in response to a quote from Obama’s acceptance speech.
On Wednesday, Perfect Touch hairstylist Joanne Powell offered thoughts while wearing an Obama T-shirt to lunch.
“The Republicans should work with him and stop trying to defy everything that he does and knock it down, and I think that will open up a Republican base, too, …” she said. “It’s not a white world, it’s not a black world, it’s a people’s world now— it’s young, old, all kind of races.”
Liberty goes blue for representatives
Liberty County also went blue in contested state and congressional races, though the total outcomes are in favor of Republicans.
District 1 U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Republican, will retain his seat with 63 percent of the district vote despite Liberty’s selection of challenger Lesli Messinger, a Democrat, at 53.58 percent.
In the race for state representative of District 164, 63.58 percent of Liberty voters selected Democrat Lauren Craddock to replace incumbent Republican Ron Stephens.
Stephens, however, will retain his seat because he received 59.6 percent districtwide.