Trump takes Lakes Region towns

A Trump supporter leaves the polls at Windham High School on Tuesday. Trump won a majority of the vote in the nine Lakes Region towns. 

Residents of the Lakes Region joined the nation in electing Republican Donald J. Trump president.

Trump held a majority over Democrat nominee Hillary R. Clinton in every Lakes Region town: Windham, Raymond, Gray, Standish, Casco, Naples, Bridgton, Sebago and New Gloucester.

Lakes Region residents generally favored Republicans for the Legislature, as well – nine of the 14 legislative districts that represent the region will be held in the 128th Legislature by Republicans.

Clinton won in Maine overall, earning 48 percent of the vote.

Polls saw residents coming out in droves, with a record-breaking turnout in Windham. In Windham, there were 1,010 more ballots cast than in 2012, with 10,134 residents voting, according to Town Clerk Linda Morrell. Morrell estimated they registered between 600 and 700 new voters on Election Day.

Outside the polls, voters expressed varied reasons for supporting Trump or Clinton. Some residents said they saw Trump as a possible agent of change on such issues as the economy and immigration policy. They also said he reflected the conservative Republican values that guide their voting decisions.

Supporters of Clinton generally saw her as more competent and prepared to lead than her challenger. Several mentioned comments made by Trump on the campaign trail that were seen as degrading to women, minorities and people with disabilities as reasons for supporting the Democrat.

A handful of voters said they supported neither of the major party candidates, because neither candidate reflected their values or would improve their situation.

Vladimir Kasyanov, a Windham resident, voted for Trump because, “ I think he’s more likely to change something (than Clinton),” he said.

Kasyanov said he was “sick and tired of the last eight years,” and that he hoped “Donald, as a businessman, will have more insight into the economy.”

Austin Clark, also of Windham, said he voted for Trump because his policies align with the Republican party, “and that’s typically how I vote. It’s a party-line thing.”

Clark said he regretted that the election coverage focused more on the candidates’ behavior than their policies.

Kathy Irving of Gray said Trump reflected her values on illegal immigration, among other issues, and that’s why she voted for him.

“I don’t like some of the things he does and says, but he’s gotten better with time,” she said.

In Windham, Laura Post cast her vote for Clinton. She said in researching the candidate’s past history, she found that Trump “lacks the competence and the presidential presence we need.”

Brent Gaudette of Gray also supported Clinton, “because I don’t want anyone talking in front of my grandchildren the way (Trump) does,” he said.

Gaudette said he disagreed with Trump’s stance on nuclear weapons.

“That’s not something we should use on another country,” he said.

Six women, all students at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, cast their first ballots in a presidential election Tuesday night. All had voted for Clinton.

Kyrie Harnden, one of the six women, said it felt important to be possibly electing the first woman president.

“We’re seeing a lot of changes in America right now, and I hope six more votes will get us there,” she said.

Bonnie Johnson of Gray declined to say who she was voting for but said “no matter what happens tomorrow, we need to unite together.”

A Trump supporter leaves the polls at Windham High School on Tuesday. Trump won a majority of the vote in the nine Lakes Region towns.