West Texans Appreciate Historic Presidential Election

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

West Texas was reliably red in Tuesday's Presidential election with nearly 80 percent of voters in Midland and Ector counties pulling the lever for John Mccain. 
However, whether they voted for or against Barack Obama, many here in the Basin appreciate the historic outcome.

"I can tell my kids about this, you know, where I was in the moment. So yeah, I think it's empowering for anyone," Gavan Norris, UTPB student and head of their Young Democrats, said.

President-Elect Barack Obama will have plenty on his plate when he takes office, from a global recession. to foreign policy issues.

"What we can do now, and what needs to be done now is that all of America pull together," Reverend Billy Ashley, Pastor at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Midland, said.

Rev. Ashley said West Texans, whether they voted Republican or Democrat, should back their President come January. Ashley has been a pastor in Midland for years, and followed politics since the 60's. He said the first African-American President can be an inspiration for everyone.

"We can not only help the young African-Americans, we can help the young Hispanics, we can help the different young people see that anything is possible," Ashley explained.

"It's really exciting," Norris added.

As a student, and the head of UTPB's Young Democrats, he has a younger perspective on the history-making election.

"Everyone, especially young people say, 'does my vote really matter?' So, it answers that question of how-much does the vote really matter. Hopefully, it empowers more people to want to vote, and if they have never voted before, hopefully they will be able to empower more people the next election," Norris explained.

On Thursday, Obama continued to build his administration. Reverend Ashley said with so many big issues to deal with, he called for everyone's support and prayers.

"Because one man can't do it by himself, it takes a Nation, and we are the United States of America, we can do that," Norris said.

Ashley also said his church has been holding services in Midland to pray for Obama and everyone working around him. He hopes other West Texans will do the same.