Va. Beach Trump volunteers: High voter turnout turned election

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – When it came to votes for president, Hampton Roads was divided within itself. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake went for Donald Trump, while the rest of the metro went for Hillary Clinton.

Now all eyes are on Trump: What will he do now that he’s elected?

Supporters in Hampton Roads say they are confident Trump will unite the country. They say that’s because he united voters in a way they didn’t expect.

Hampton Roads Trump Campaign Chairman Gary Byler says this election was nothing like he’s seen in his 40 years of politics.

“It’s the miracle of democracy,” said Byler.

What he says should have tipped him off to Trump’s victory: the amount of people who wanted to volunteer.

He said, “I’ve never seen the number of folks come out of the woodwork wanting to work for us. We did not have to recruit volunteers. We merely had to drink from the fire hose and its been that way since the primary.”

Republican Party of Virginia Beach Chair Tina Mapes agrees. She says her team started knocking on doors in June and hit 30,000 before the election. It’s something that paid off when voters hit the polls.

“The only one that matters is the numbers that come in at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night,” said Mapes.

While both Mapes and Byler say it was an unusual election cycle, they’re looking forward to seeing what President-Elect Trump accomplishes.

“I think the takeaway is again that the people are sovereign. And I do think Donald Trump will surprise people with his serious and somber attitude,” Byler said.

Byler says Trump’s team began preparing for the transition into office months ago, so they already have a sense of who will be advising Mr. Trump. Byler expects we’ll see a lot of political outsiders gain a seat at the table and maybe shake things up in Washington.