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Donald Trump Supporters Quietly Celebrate in Santa Cruz County

At election watch parties throughout the Monterey Bay Area, voters spent the evening either in a state of shock or euphoria as the results of the Presidential Election poured in.

Santa Cruz County Democrats hosted three different watch parties Tuesday night. Their main gathering was at Food Lounge in downtown Santa Cruz. More than 100 people turned out. There was food, two Donald Trump piñatas and high hopes for Hillary Clinton.

Santa Cruz City Councilmember Richelle Noroyan had her laptop out, closely watching the election maps with nervous optimism.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully celebrating tonight and saying you know what, the sky is the limit, a woman can be whatever she wants,” said Noroyan.

By 8 p.m., her optimism began to fade. She thought it would be a historic night – a woman in the white house. It turned out to be a different kind of “historic.” President-elect Donald Trump will be the first president without military and political office experience.

“I’m absolutely dumbfounded. It makes me want to go out and travel to red states and just talk to people and understand why they’re voting the way they are,” Noroyan says.

At the single Republican party in Santa Cruz County, Brian Phelps says he’s supporting Trump because Trump is not a career politician.

“I think it’s about time we have someone that’s not part of the establishment,” says Phelps.

Phelps is the Santa Cruz County Republicans Treasurer. In this traditionally liberal county, he was one of just four people who turned out for their watch party, held in a quiet pizza place just outside Capitola.

“It is a small turnout tonight, but there are hundreds of people in this county who are quietly celebrating in their homes tonight,” Phelps said.

“I think the hardest part about being a Republican in Santa Cruz is seeing some of the attacks that happen - the vandalism, the theft, the threats. We’ve gone through a lot of Trump signs, several hundreds,” Phelps says.

Phelps adds, while Trump supporters are outnumbered in Santa Cruz County, voters across the nation did help him clinch the electoral vote.