Category Archives: Election 2016

My Vantage Point of History: The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump, 2017

Nick Vaughn, Staff Writer

Washington, D.C.- inauguration_1Last Friday was not your average day. Normally, Fridays at school would include me attending classes or having a grilled cheese at lunch with my friends or if I am at home you could catch me simply going about my daily activities.

Last Friday, however, was not that kind of Friday, because I had the honor of attending the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. As I woke up that Friday morning and I looked out my window to see a cloudy and rainy Washington, D.C., I couldn’t believe that I was actually there.

One moment I will never forget was walking from the metro and seeing the beautiful Capitol dome get closer and closer. As my friends and I were going through the gates, pass security, and then to our seats, it hit me. We had a front row vantage point to history.

I was sitting there thinking while the Marine Band played and as the former Presidents and First Ladies walked out onto the Inaugural platform, “How am I here?”

During that moment, I began to reflect on my last year. I had felt pretty lucky. Lucky to be able to not just watch history on television like I have done for years which inspired me to get involved in the first place but to witness history first hand. To live the history that would be talked about centuries from now.

In the past year I had the opportunities to attend a Presidential Debate in the primaries; the Republican National Convention; where the now President accepted the nomination; and now on January 20, the Inauguration.

One of the most vivid moments of my experience was when President-Elect Trump was announced and walked out on the platform, then all you could hear was the voices and cheers of Americans from all walks of life, backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, and religions behind me. It felt like there was a heavy force against my back, that kept me from standing still.

The swearing-in and speech was absolutely incredible to see and hear. Plus, to have friends beside me, and all around me, made it all the more incredible.

The line in President Trump’s speech that I loved the most was, “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” In order to produce results for our country and we will, we must work together.

At the close of what was a beautiful ceremony with a few drops of “good luck” rain, we ended by praying for our country. Afterwards, it was time to head back and prepare for the Inaugural Ball that evening.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the ball, that I realized how massive the crowd actually was. The Ball was absolutely spectacular. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I met many journalists, celebrities, and politicians. It was also special to see old friends there and make some new ones as well. My favorite run-in of the night had to be meeting CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper. As a matter of fact, we took a selfie that absolutely made my night.

Another great moment was when the band played “Hail to the Chief” and the President and the First Lady emerged, the huge crowd was electrified. I remember being so close and seeing all those phones in the air taking pictures and videos, mine included and thinking to myself, “just enjoy the moment.” So for two minutes I completely put the phone away and took in the moment of history before me. As the President and the First Lady danced to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, my all time favorite song coincidentally, I felt so honored to be there.

On a personal note, I learned a lot this weekend. About myself and the future, things I knew before, but needed reminding of in some way. I was reminded that if you work hard and keep pushing through hard times, as we have all experienced, it will look up and things will turn around. As for now I’m going to enjoy the moment.

In closing, I ask of my fellow students and Americans who are not supportive of this President a simple task: Give the President a chance, because he is our President. Support him when you think he’s right and fight back when you think he’s wrong. Pick up the mantle of leadership. Get involved in either party you agree with and try to change things for the better however you view.

Always remember America’s best days are ahead of us.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate Graduate rallies for Republican Campaigns

Election Coverage 2016

Tyler Smith, Staff Writer


With the first female major party candidate ever paired with Donald Trump acting exactly as Donald Trump always has, the 2016 election was certainly interesting to watch unfold. However for one former Wingate student, it was his first, albeit fulfilling, taste of a hopefully long career in politics.

Wingate University class of 2015 alum Zach Almond graduated last December with a Degree in Communications with a Public Relations focus, hoping to find work in a political sector. Less than a year later he found himself contributing to three election campaigns in one of the most polarizing election years to date.

“It has been very hectic, over the summer I ran a Congressional campaign, and during this cycle I have ran two campaigns, served as political director for another and done extensive work with the College Republican National Committee,” Zach said. “Next week I am already back at work the College Republican National Committee in San Diego at the Fall Meeting.”

This year Zach served as political director for Buck Newton, the Republican Senator running for the Attorney General’s office, as well as the grassroots consultant for Jeff Carpenter’s bid for Union County Superior Court Justice, and was a general consultant for Union County Commission hopeful Frank Aikmus. Newton’s opponent Josh Stein declared victory last week, however it was the tightest race for Attorney General in state history, where a Republican has never been elected to the office.

Not only was Zach involved in numerous republican campaigns in North Carolina, he also contributed to the Trump campaign on a statewide level, and even met President-elect Donald Trump numerous times prior to one of the most shocking electoral outcomes in presidential history.

“I have met Donald Trump many times, several times before this year – he is an incredible person. I have met both Lara and Ivanka and sat near the entire family over the summer on the convention floor in Cleveland. The entire family are very nice, genuine, hard working people,” Zach said. “If you would of asked me a year ago if Donald would be president I would say absolutely not, but I think at this point he is what our country needs, he’s not polished, but he can get the job done.”

Some recent college grads work in dead end jobs for a year or so before they find out what it is they truly want to do. In Zach’s case, he found his niche well before graduation and began compiling a resume that now lists seven different political campaigns under work experience dating as early as his freshman year at Wingate.

When asked if he had any advice for Wingate students, Zach provided an example in the next President of the United states.

“Hard work pays off even when your plan doesn’t seem to come together,” Zach said. “Always Always Always work hard, and don’t let up even when the odds are against you ( case in point Donald Trump).”

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Election 2016: Hilltop Republican Election Party

Election Coverage

Gabe Kromah, Staff Writer

Hilltop Restaurant held a Republican Election Night Party on Tuesday, November 8 The candidates and locals gathered here together to watch the elections but on multiple levels. 

It was on this night that Republican, Donald Trump defeated Democrat, Hillary Clinton for the Presidential seat in a shocking win. This win came as a surprise for multiple people including Republicans as most were not expecting some of the sing states to agree with the Republican candidate.

Candidates Jeffery Carpenter and Robert Palmer were running against each other for a seat on Superior Court. Jeffery Carpenter seen at Hilltop was the Republican running for North Carolina Superior Court 6th Division, District Judge.

Judge Carpenter who had 56.47% in with a total of 48,749 votes compares to his competition Robert Palmer who got a total of 43.53% of the votes with a total of 37,575 overall. This major point difference helped to make Judge Carpenter the new 6th division District Judge in North Carolina.

Judge Carpenter said he got into politics when he, “got a call from a friend, who started attending a local county meeting for the republican party,” This is where he met a lot of good people and he stayed active in the party. 

If you checked the attendance Carpenter was part of only a few who had perfect attendance for the whole 2 years. “my dedication opened many new doors”.

Bryson Taylor who has been working with  Judge Carpenter on his campaign promotion said “this election is really big for Union County” He said that this job is nothing short of a sacrifice, “the seat last 8 years long, so this is an 8 year job that his is running for and it’s not a job that needs to be taken lightly.”

In Bryson’s opinion, “The opponent Robert Palmer is unqualified he has never tried a trial law case in Union County, so to put someone like that in Jeff seat, where he’s been appointed by govern Pat McCrory and been doing his job for 4 to 5 months now, should make it easier for people to vote for him”.

Robert Palmer shared his opinion on the outcome of the election, “politics is not what I desire to do long term, my desire in life is to become a judge. Politics unfortunately, was the process that one must go through in order to obtain an elected position. Since I lost the judge seat in district 6, to Jeff I’m very disappointed but I have to understand that the people made their decision”.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Election 2016: Wingate Reactions

Sharing opinions on Election Night

Cierra Smith and Jenna Turner, Staff Writer


This past Tuesday, November 8, 2016 marked election night for the presidency and other federal and local positions. Across the nation, tensions were running high and as the campaign season came to a halt, you could visibly see the divide between the different political parties.

The angst many Wingate residents and students had surrounding this one, pivotal night, was at an all-time high as well and as we covered the campus, you could easily see how anxious everyone was.

From starting off at the Wingate Community Center and getting voters reactions, to attending the election watch party in the DPC and gauging how students were feeling, we were able to get a wide variety of opinions and views on the election.

Chief Judge Jeff Gerber said that the turnout was almost double that of a general election. This year had a tremendous about of Wingate Students come out to vote. There was only one problem. Any student that came in on Election Day with a change of address form was still not allowed to vote.

Gerber said “the easiest way to vote is to vote early so that you know you are able to vote and know that your vote will get counted.” He also said he was surprised and happy to see more young people voting.

Election Official Laura Walker talked about the different jobs that she has to do. She helps set up at 5:30 am. Throughout the day, there is a whole process for when handicap citizen shows up; they don’t have to even get out of the car. At the end of the day, she takes the ballots to the Board of Elections.

This was her third election: to presidential and one early voting. Walker said “early voting was the busiest. I didn’t expect it.”

When talking to students about their opinions, Elias Everitt said “my heart hurts.” Most students only came to the watch party for the free food or for extra credit. Casey King’s reaction to being asked her opinion was “Just, No.”

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Students meet Alma Adams on Election Night

Alma Adams has a hat for that, and she approves this message!

Rob Gay and Sara Gunter, Staff Writers

Congresswoman Alma Adams accepted her reelection to serve as a representative for North Carolina’s 12th district. This win coming with a surprising 69% lead over her opponent, Leon Threatt (R), in a controversial campaign due to redistricting in the state. Earlier this year lines for District 12, were declared unconstitutional leaving much of the new 12th district in democratic favor.

Adams, a new resident of Mecklenburg County, says she is excited, “To build a Queen City that works for everyone.”

Adams hope is to “restore North Carolina’s historic focus on public education and a strong economy,” she assures the Mecklenburg community that she is committed to making Charlotte her home and her priority.

“Together we can Keep Pounding to tear down the barriers that separate our neighbors, sisters and brothers from opportunity—– you have a stake in the success of our community, unless we work together none of this is possible.”

Adams is scheduled to report back to Washington Monday, November 14.

Her closing statements to a crowded room and Charlotte South End served as a promise that she would “speak up, work hard, and be the voice for Charlotte”

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Local Republicans celebrate Election Night victories

Championing the Conservative Cause

Maggie Smith and Megan Katz, Staff Writers

The members and supporters of the Union County Republican Party gathered at Hilltop on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 8 to celebrate the races and in some cases victories.

As votes were being tallied local representatives dined and mingled with their constituents, friends, and families.

Incumbent Mark Brody, NC House Representative of the 55th District, won his race with 60.5% of the votes. Brody attributed the success for the Republican Party this election to the decision to campaign as a team, as opposed to individuals.

The party was put on by Robert Pittenger, who also won his race for US House Representative of the 9th District with 58.3% of the votes. Pittenger shared his gratitude and praised the great leadership in Union County.

Tommy Tucker ran unopposed and was re-elected as NC Senator from District 35. Tucker was first elected as NC Senator in 2010. Tucker said he is the best for the job because he has the experience, he views government as a business, and he is a small business owner himself.

Tucker got his start in politics when he decided to run for mayor because his city council would not fund youth sports. He lost the race 60-40. Tucker said it sparked his love of politics, and he has since served as mayor, county commissioner, and now state senator.

“This is where I want to be,” Tucker said. “I was born here, I love this state, and that’s why I’m serving.”

Another incumbent present at the party was NC House Representative Dean Arp from the 69th District. He won his race against Democrat Gordon Daniels with 66% of the votes. With a background in structural engineering, Arp got his start in politics on the Union County School Board. Arp served from 2000-2012.

“I would not have been able to become an engineer without my education,” Arp said. “That’s why it was so important to me to be able to have a say in education.”

Arp said he feels that the best measure of future success is past successes. Arp says he and his colleagues have been able to dedicate 67% of the total state budget to education, as well as making North Carolina 29th in teacher pay when you factor in cost of living.

“When you can affect a positive change for someone who is in a difficult environment, that is the joy of serving,” Arp said.

“My belief is you vote your conscience first, you vote your constituents second, and you vote your caucus third,” said Arp. “I encourage people to elect people with the character and the values that represent you.”

Edited By: Sara Gunter


QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Will you vote today? Have you already voted?

Wingate journalism students will be doing Election Night stories and posting material to The Weekly Triangle’s Facebook page this evening. Until then, here’s something to whet your appetite for our political coverage. COM 220 News Writing students ask other Wingate students if they’ve already voted of if they planned to:

Class members Andrew Elliott and Kyle Brodt talked with sophomore biology major Nadean Coufal. She said she had voted, and Andrew and Kyle asked her if the issue of the Supreme Court was a factor in her vote. “No not really,” she said. “I’m just focusing on who I want to be president.”



Sophomore T’Kahila Cornish voted today. She said, “This is the first time I’m able to vote. I am going to exercise my right because I want my voice to be heard.”


Jackson Kaplan and Asherel Kaseorg talked to this student, who didn’t mind telling us who she was voting for:

Christina Kroeger and Brandon Bowles interviwed junior elementary education major Kelly Shiverdecker. She said she voted early because she has a late Tuesday night class and wouldn’t be able to make it home in time. “I voted early because it’s my right as an American to have a say in the presidency.”


And Tariah Harrell and Kori Adams talked with sophomore Houston Johnson: