Sunday, February 28, 2021

Biden-Harris Administration will create ‘subtle changes’ in Grant County

Staff Writer | January 21, 2021 1:00 AM

The Grant County Democratic Party met Wednesday morning via Zoom to chat and watch the presidential inauguration.

Because Grant County is so red, the national administration won’t have much of a direct effect on the local governments beyond a change of tone, Grant County Democratic Party Chair Steve Starr said.

“I think it will be subtle,” said Starr, “But I think we’ll see subtle changes in a positive direction.”

One of these tone changes, Starr said, will be the response to COVID-19. By wearing masks and listening to experts, Biden will lead by example.

More tangibly, Biden will put a larger effort into vaccine distribution, which will affect Grant County residents greatly, Democratic Party treasurer Sylvia Hammond said.

“Everybody, regardless of party or even if they don’t give two hoots about politics, will have the opportunity to be more safe from COVID,” she said.

When Hammond ran for state office in 2018, women’s rights were one of her forefront issues, she said. That’s why she’s especially excited about Kamala Harris’s role in the administration.

“To see that glass ceiling shatter for the vice presidency is just incredibly moving to me and feels empowering for everyone that’s a woman to have that milestone,” she said. “I’m just so thrilled.”

For the Grant County Republican Party, it’s business as usual.

“We’re focused on grass roots and getting the vote out and doing what Republicans do,” Chair Mike McKee said. “I don’t see any armed protests coming out, so that’s a good thing.”

It’s very difficult for a Democrat to win any type of election in Grant County, Starr said, so the party’s focus is to promote moderation among elected officials and a fact-based approach to local government.

“We hope that our Republican politicians at the county level put the people first and not put a national political agenda before the needs of the local county residents,” he said.

At a national level, McKee said, the presidency goes far beyond the president.

“Joe Biden’s going to be our president, and we respect the office of the president, and I think that’s important too,” he said. “Whether it’s a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, the office of the president is way bigger than the man that holds the position.”