December 9, 2016

Women voters reflect on casting ballot for Clinton

Tarrant County Democrats gathered at the Stagecoach Ballroom for an election watch party, not knowing how the night would end, but certain that either candidate would be one unlike any previous president.

The night ended in victory for President-elect Donald Trump, the first to enter the Oval Office with no military or political experience, but that didn’t take away from the significance of a woman at the top of the ticket.

Many ladies were excited to cast their first vote for a female presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

A moment they’d been waiting for their entire lives.

Ruby Faye Woolridge, a retired educator and minister, said she felt the moment was special because she had waited too long.

“I am so excited,” Woolridge said. “I’ve been waiting on this forever because I feel like it’s long overdue.”

Other women echoed her sentiment.

Pauline Gasca-Valenciano, a retired social worker, is the last woman in Tarrant County alive to have voted for President John F. Kennedy. She said she worked her whole life to see a woman this close to the presidency.

“We have worked so hard for this, and very faithful and dedicated, and it’s long overdue,” Gasca-Valenciano said.

Although the women came from very diverse backgrounds, they all had concerns about a Trump presidency.

Nancy Bean, a candidate for District 93 state representative, said she originally planned to move to Canada where she has family but was reminded by her daughter to stay here and make a change.

“My daughter said ‘No mom, we have to stay to be on the front lines of the revolution.'” said Bean.

Sally Ortega Haynes, a human resource manager, said the thought of Trump as president scared her.

“Oh my gosh…The thought of a Trump presidency is absolutely frightening to me,” Haynes said.

Despite a Clinton win or loss, Lynn Johnson, a previous executive director of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, said women need to be better represented in government.

“I think we simply need more women all over our government, because, you know women have waited now a hundred years for this event, just since getting to vote,” Johnson said.

Although Clinton did not win, she still made history as the first woman to be a major party presidential nominee.

During her concession speech, Clinton spoke to all the young women who felt discouraged after her loss.

“To all the young girls who are watching this, never doubt you that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your dreams,” Clinton said.

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