Jubilant residents of Taos enjoyed a party-like atmosphere this weekend on the heels of the news that Joe Biden had been elected as the 46th President of the United States. The Taos County Democratic Party hosted a small, socially distanced drive Sunday (Nov. 8) from their headquarters, heading north to the historic Taos plaza – all the while honking and waving Biden signs from their cars.
In the plaza, there were different groups of supporters, all taking in the news in different ways. One group in front of Maye Torres’ Studio 107-B said that they were overjoyed at the change that had come. “We want to heal,” said Torres speaking to the divide she said Donald Trump has created across the nation. “I think it's reassuring to know that people want to move forward and heal and become really what the concept of America is about – which was a melting pot and an equal place for people of all places to come be,” she said.
As drivers passed and honked in support, town councilor and head of the Taos County Democratic Party Darien Fernandez said that he was happy to see that residents had come out strongly in support of the Democratic ticket. “I think everybody is celebrating in their own way,” he said. Fernandez said that he was “excited that we've elected a president who's gonna take this pandemic seriously and really work to put a plan together that's gonna bring this nation back.”
Fernandez went on to say that there were several issues that drove him to vote and continue supporting the Democratic party this year. “There's so many issues that are at stake in the courts right now,” he said, noting a woman's right to determine her own medical health, the Affordable Care Act and more.
Others among the people gathering in the plaza said that it was more than just the presidency at stake, but that moral values were on the ballot as well. Local resident Antonio Martinez said that it was “about being a decent human being, and caring about the current situation that we're in, you know, it's about reality, sciences, math,” said Martinez.
Although he remained in good spirits, Martinez acknowledged that there is “a long road ahead of us. This is the start. We can celebrate now but where are we going to be in 90 days?,” he questioned.
Another local resident, Scott Sutton said that he also felt that while there was cause for celebration, there was still a lot of work to be done. He also mentioned that character and moral integrity were on the ballot this year, saying that he was driven to vote for some who has “at least some integrity, and some morals.”
Although Sutton was excited about the win, he did say that there was more work to be done to bring the nation together. “It just amazes me how many people voted for someone the second time knowing what he has done for four years and how he's behaved,” said Sutton.
With nary a Trump supporter in sight, Darien Fernandez remained confident in Taos’ mostly blue community, though he said it’s not something that residents should take for granted, noting that keeping a Democratic stronghold in Northern New Mexico requires ongoing effort.
”[The Taos County Democratic Party], at the heart of it, is an organization that's about civic [duty], about the community,” said Fernandez. From hosting candidate forums, to raising efforts to get out the vote, he said that “all of those things that go beyond politics. They harken to our dedication to the community. And in the end people remember that. And that's why they go into that ballot booth and vote for our candidates because they see that, you know, we're the party that cares.”