Submitted by the Niagara County Republican Party
Donald J. Trump's victory in Niagara County was historic on a number of levels, marking the first time a Republican had won the county since Ronald Reagan in 1984, County GOP Chairman Scott Kiedrowski announced after reviewing election returns at Republican Party headquarters.
Kiedrowski decided in March to make Niagara County one of the first counties in the nation to endorse Trump during the GOP primaries. He said Trump's margin of victory validated the party's use of resources for get-out-the vote efforts that paid off for Trump and Republicans running in a short list of local races Tuesday.
"Mr. Trump won here, and he won 'bigly,' " Kiedrowski said after unofficial results from the Niagara County Board of Elections put the president-elect's head-to-head margin of victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton at 60 percent to 40 percent. When third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are factored in, Clinton's share of the vote drops to 38 percent.
In 1984, Reagan bested former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democrat nominee, by nearly 10,000 votes and a 55 percent to 45 percent margin. President-Elect Trump's numerical margin is even bigger. While Reagan beat Mondale by 9,921, Trump stormed past Clinton by 16,335 votes in Tuesday's unofficial tally.
"When we endorsed Mr. Trump on March 22, the outcome of the GOP primaries was far from clear, but our rank-and-file were showing me a clear preference for Trump and his message," Kiedrowski said. "I believed that Trump's message of renewal for our Rust Belt industries, his local ties to New York state, his vocal support for Second Amendment rights, and his acumen as a businessman who had actually built things - all of that combined to make him not only a candidate who could win our party's nomination, but win the national election. Our decision to endorse was the right one."
The Trump campaign took note, highlighting the endorsement on social media via a tweet of thanks.
"Mr. Trump and his team were very gracious to do that, to thank us publicly," Kiedrowski said.
Trump went on to win the New York State Republican primary decisively one month later. Kiedrowski and other party leaders credited the Trump campaign's social media engagement with helping lift the real estate mogul to victory in the GOP primaries and, ultimately, the general election.
"We saw the way that the Trump message was resonating, and we made the decision to capitalize on that, and hopefully boost our own turnout locally," Kiedrowski said. "The numbers bear that decision out. Of course, the lion's share of the credit for this massive, historic win goes to the candidate himself, and to the brilliance of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. But I'm really pleased with the way our organization stepped up - right down to the party's leadership in our towns and cities."
This last observation brought considerable pride for Kiedrowski, who noted his own hometown of North Tonawanda - a city that gave President Barack Obama and the Democrats a 525-vote plurality over Republican nominee Mitt Romney four years ago - delivered a decisive 2,072-vote win for Trump over Clinton.
"In Niagara County, the Republicans won everywhere - towns and cities - on Tuesday, and we won big," Kiedrowski said. "Right candidate, right message, right teamwork."