Dunn County helps Trump top Clinton


Karly Houghton, top left, and Makaila Entze travelled from Spearfish, S.D. to cast their votes on Tuesday. Voter turnout in Dunn County was extremely high with 2,255 people voting. That was nearly 200 more than the previous presidential election in 2012.

(Photo by Bryan Gallegos)

Trump gets  79 percent of voting in county

By Bryan Gallegos

Dunn County Herald

Karly Houghton had a major presentation due at noon on Wednesday at Black Hills State University. But she put it on hold to make a four-hour drive from the Spearfish, S.D. school to Dunn County to vote on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Houghton is a junior at Black Hills State, and she drove home with her roommate, Makaila Entze, 20, also of Killdeer, to cast their votes.

“That’s the only reason I came home. To vote,” said Houghton, moments after casting her vote at the Dunn County Courthouse in Manning.

“It’s important, especially kids of our age, to get involved in the future of our country,” she added.

Entze agreed.

“I don’t think people our age realize the impact we make,” Entze said. “You have to use that vote.”

They did. And so did a lot of other voters.

According to Dunn County Auditor Tracy Dolezal, 2,255 people voted in the election, that featured county, state and national races – including the presidential race. Of the votes cast, 528 were absentee ballots.

In the previous election, 2,058 cast their ballots in the election, she said.

Voters in Dunn County helped Republican upstart Donald Trump score a shocking upset of heavily favored Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump, who has never served in public office, secured 1,753 votes for the presidency from Dunn County Voters, which was nearly 79 percent of the voting.

National pundits and pollsters predicted Clinton – a former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, as well as First Lady – would win in a landslide.

“I never listen to them,” said Sandy Besse, a Trump supporter watching the election results at the 2 7/8 Bar in Killdeer. “They tried to rig it. But we showed them.”

People were fed up with Washington politics and help Trump ride the wave of anger toward Clinton, who has been involved in national politics for three decades.

“Trump busted his butt on his campaign. He is the epitome of hard work. He is absolutely somebody I can get behind,” said supporter David Jones.

Others, however, weren’t so optimistic.

“I’m so heartbroken. Our beautiful country is now in the hands of a horrible man,” said a woman who refused to give her name but said she was happy to vote for Clinton. “Women had an opportunity to evolve and have their voices heard and now we have a leader who disrespects women.”

With the help of Dunn County voters, Trump easily won North Dakota with 216,133 votes, compared to 93,526 for Clinton.

“We may be out in the sticks, but we counted,” said Pablo Gonzo of Halliday. “I didn’t think it would end like this, but that’s why you vote.”

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