presidential race, Trump vs Biden

Tuesday evening started out very well for local Republicans, as candidates for state and federal positions won handily and President Donald Trump was on his way to winning Florida.

“That’s what I hoped for, that’s what I voted for,” said Allan Stearns, who attended what would become a victory celebration for Patt Maney, an Okaloosa County Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives.

Election results: See the latest local results in the race for president

Stearns remained wary, though. He, like everyone else in the room, was well aware that many more states would have to be tallied before anyone could celebrate a Trump re-election.

“We have hopes for the best, but it’s going to come down to the states with the mail-in ballots,” he said, ticking off the key battlegrounds of Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

“We won’t have a result tonight and no one’s going to declare victory tonight, for sure, and I don’t think anyone will declare defeat, either,” he said.

Stearns’ caution proved prescient. By late afternoon Wednesday, it appeared Biden was on the verge of winning the election.

Allan Stearns (right) congratulates Patt Maney at a watch party at AJ's on the Bayou on Tuesday night after Maney won the Florida House District 4 race.

The GOP faithful were out and about all over Okaloosa County on Tuesday night, holding watch parties in Crestview, Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Local Democrats opted for a virtual watch party. They saw their county once again go big for Trump, who captured 78,857 votes in the county to Biden’s 33,494, according to unofficial results.  

Bus tour:Trump bus tour comes to Northwest Florida at AJ’s on the Bayou in Fort Walton Beach

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