As President Donald Trump leaves the White House, those in the small town of Lynden will remember his road to D.C. included a stop in their small town.
“We’re rural agrarian people, berries and dairy and basketball teams that win the state championships every other year,” said state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Whatcom County.
The majority, 61%, of voters in Whatcom County voted for President Joe Biden in 2020. About 37% of Whatcom County voted for Trump. Nonetheless, there are strongholds of Republican support — places like Lynden that are so conservative that the president personally made a visit here before winning the White House four years ago.
“I have been a Trump supporter since he came down the escalator with Melania,” one woman told KING 5 during the 2016 rally.
2016 marked the first time a major party nominee visited the town that’s just a mile from the Canadian border.
“He really tapped into a movement — the MAGA movement, people that want to make America great again. People that are proud of America. People that love their country,” Ericksen said.
Ericksen was there when the president spoke in 2016 and four years later, he reflects on what went on to become the Trump presidency.
“I think that where ever he goes he taps into a group of people who are tired of politicians they are tired of government-as-usual. They want a person who says what he wants to do and actually go and do it and I think he really fulfilled that mission as president also,” Ericksen said.
Trump may have lost the election but supporters see hope in the more than 70 million people that voted to reelect him.
“If history is any indication. The president’s party always loses seats. So I’m optimistic that Republicans can have more of a voice in Olympia and more of a voice in Washington State in the days, months, years ahead,” said Caleb Heimlich, chair of the Washington State Republicans.
Trump, the party's unconventional and at times brash leader, is now a former president, leaving the White House and leaving his party a rebuilding phase. Small towns like Lynden are heading into the next four years under a new president that many didn’t vote for.
“Well, hey. We gotta move on as a country. We have to move on as people who want to make America great again and protect the things that we’ve accomplished while at the same time working our way forward to keep good jobs here in Whatcom county and keep our country working,” Ericksen said.