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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Giffords wins seat, shares in Dems’ joy”

    Incumbent Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, left, said, So southern Arizona, Im looking forward to another two years. I look forward to listening to you, to working for you, to speaking up for you.
    Incumbent Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, left, said, “”So southern Arizona, I’m looking forward to another two years. I look forward to listening to you, to working for you, to speaking up for you.””

    Between the band, the bar and Sen. Barack Obama’s lead and eventual win, the Democratic crowd at the Marriott Hotel west of campus never ceased to remain ecstatic and let their presence be known.

    Obama’s historic victory as the first black president-elect was a long time coming for a country longing for something different in the political ring, said Ken Jacobs, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party.

    “”This is eight years in the making,”” he said. “”Barack Obama is the next answer for the questions we have been asking for 20 years.””

    The atmosphere of change created by the Obama campaign will reach beyond the election season and into four years of exciting challenges, Jacobs added.

    “”We are looking toward the new battles and not the old answers,”” he said.

    Charged by the accompanying Obama win, supporters of Gabrielle Giffords energetically cheered the congresswoman as she praised her staff for a hard-fought victory and thanked the crowd.

    “”Generations will look back on tonight, and they’ll thank you,”” she said. “”They’re going to thank you for your sacrifices, and for this nation, who is grateful for your wisdom and hope.””

    Giffords stressed the need for voters to elect officials who have the public’s best interest in mind, rather than their own.

    “”Congress can’t just talk about change. The only way that change actually happens is if we as elected officials, federal, state and local, actually do what the American people want us to do,”” she said. “”Doing what’s right, and the American people of the Eighth Congressional District know exactly what’s right for them.””

    After rallying her supporters, Giffords took time to acknowledge Republican contender Tim Bee’s campaign.

    “”It’s also important tonight that we thank Tim Bee and his supporters, because truly they have worked hard as well. Even if they didn’t vote for me, I’m going to work to represent them in the United States Congress to the best of my abilities,”” she said. “”So southern Arizona, I’m looking forward to another two years. I look forward to listening to you, to working for you, to speaking up for you.””

    While Giffords was in person at the event, the night’s focus for voters belonged to Obama.

    After a moment of silence for Obama’s late grandmother, the Pledge of Allegiance was said and the party continued.

    Results were streamed in by MSNBC, and the crowd eagerly cheered as Obama took the lead state by state.

    Councilmember Steve Leal spoke briefly about local issues and Republican viewpoints before the election was over.

    “”Republicans of Arizona are upset and afraid of the Democrats,”” Leal said. “”They will never stop trying to cut the Achilles heel of the Democrats.””

    Virtually everyone in attendance not only supported Obama, but was an avid volunteer and ready to celebrate.

    “”I’ve been volunteering since the very beginning,”” said Marilyn Freed. “”I’ve knocked on doors, and for the most part, people have been really respectful and responsive.””

    “”I actually wanted to celebrate the victory. This is a great moment for everybody. When Obama started taking it away, the whole place went nuts,”” said Scott Kirkessner, a UA admissions counselor. “”This election is going to be a turning point in history. I’m part of the younger generation and Obama has called out and rallied us to vote. On campus there is an overwhelming amount of support. This atmosphere is insane! We want to see all the local results as well.””

    “”The atmosphere here is very exciting! The way the last two elections have gone, it really came down to the wire. Things have been going so wrong here. If we had to deal with four more years of this, our country would be a disaster,”” said Pat Burns, executive vice president of the Young Democrats. “”We have tried to get the younger vote really excited about this election. Young people are voting Democrat at about a two to

    one ratio.””

    -Ethan Williams and Shain Bergan

    contributed to this story.

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