'It felt like a black cloud was lifted': Newton celebrates Biden's win with victory rally

Sussex County celebrates Biden/Harris Victory

NEWTON — Just under 100 people gathered on Newton Green on Sunday for a rally and celebration of the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

And, in a county which has not elected a Democrat in two decades, the crowd was bouyed by the fact that the Biden/Kamala Harris ticket also put a woman into Blair House (the official vice-presidential residence) and a mixed-race woman at that.

The 90-minute rally also included recorded music, such as Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" and "This Land is Your Land" rendition by Woody Guthrie, the song's writer.

While the official numbers nationwide have not yet been certified, it appears the Biden/Harris team racked up more votes than any presidential team in history.

The final count has not been made in Sussex County since all ballots have not been counted, but as of Friday, Biden had received 29,207 or 41.66 percent of those which had been counted. That partial count is higher than any Democratic presidential candidate had received this century. 

In the two terms that Biden served as vice-president to former President Barak Obama, that team received 28.84 percent of the vote in 2008 and 38.28 percent in 2012.

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One of the speakers at the rally was Dennis Augustus of Andover Township who had to be urged to come to the microphone. But he was able to keep the crowd's attention as he spoke for several minutes.

We are not a mirage, we are a wave of our own," he said of the high numbers and enthusiasm apparent. 

He then reminded the crowd that "the easy part is over. The hard part is to keep the momentum going."

The Newton Green is at the center of town, and as the light at Main and Spring streets changed and traffic made the turn down the side of the green, there was plenty of horn-honking, waves out open vehicle windows and the occasional shout.

One man in a Jeep yelled: "Gone, baby," while a couple of other drivers called out "Oh Yeah!" 

Bill Hayden who heads up the Skylands Tea Party and posted on both his own Facebook page and that of the conservative groups, that "someone should show up" at the Biden rally.

He was there at the beginning, sitting on a bench across Park Place from the green, with a lone Trump campaign flag. He live streamed a couple of times from the spot and near the end of the rally was joined by a couple of other counter-protestors. 

Security at the green was provided by Newton police who kept a watch on a "manly" pick-up with an oversized airhorn pulling a flat-bed trailer trimmed with Trump and blue-striped flags.


At the start of the rally, Zoe Heath of Vernon, one of the organizers, cautioned attendees not to get into any sort of confrontation with counter-protesters and for the most part, there was no by-play between Hayden and the truck driver and the crowd. 

Late in the rally, however, one man slowed down on Park Place and pulled close to the curb using obscene language at the people standing on the sidewalk. His outstretched arm with a finger extended came within inches of striking the people on the sidewalk.


As the man stopped at the light, one of the Newton officers walked up to the vehicle and spoke to him. He did not make another circuit of the park.

Among the rally-goers were Ed and Blanche Stuckey from Wantage.

"I'm a conservative. As conservative as they come," Ed said. "But I didn't vote for him (Trump) the first time and I didn't do anything to enable that j****ss." 

Blanche chuckled and said, "We always knew he was a phony to begin with."

While they voted for Joe Biden for president, they said they didn't take any other action during the campaign.

Jennifer O'Hagan of Blairstown said of the Biden/Harris win, "I'm just so elated. It felt like a black cloud was lifted." 

She said during the campaign, she put together a five-page of bullet-points of "Why I hate Trump" which she shared with friends who were Trump supporters.

Michael Leonard of Frankford, wearing a glitter hat such as are worn at political conventions or on New Year's Eve, said he was "excited about (the election), but I'm very apprehensive about the damage he (Trump) could do over the next couple of months."

He said he sent out postcards to friends, neighbors and relatives, urging them to go vote but said "there was no political message. I just wanted people to get out to vote."


Source: NJ Herald, https://www.njherald.com/story/news/sussex/2020/11/08/nj-election-2020-newton-celebrates-bidens-win-with-victory-rally/6215008002/?fbclid=IwAR30AgKnWt3Z9oYKHujVZbdiEHr7sLLflEAfhDmrKLIJaeTga3_9hstggFU