Gulf Coasters Trek to DC With Different Agendas



When Donald Trump gets sworn in today as the nation’s 45th president, many Gulf Coast residents will be in Washington, DC to commemorate the occasion. Elected officials and political leaders who helped Trump win Florida’s electoral votes on his way to the White House made a trip to the nation’s capital to celebrate, but the swearing in also attracted those protesting the incoming administration.

For Christian Ziegler, state committeeman for the Republican Party of Sarasota, the event fulfills a lifelong dream. One of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters in the region when many doubted the Republican’s ability to win, Ziegler says all Americans should celebrate the events of today. “It's an honor and frankly, a bucket list item to be able to attend the inauguration and watch the peaceful transition of power between two greatly different presidents,” Ziegler says. “And making this experience even more special is being able to serve as just one of 306 electors who officially cast the votes to make Mr. Trump our next president.” 

Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, also a vocal Trump supporter, made the trip to throw her support behind Trump. “This is the first time America will have an American businessman as president and not someone with a political agenda,” says Baugh. “This is what I am excited about. If we want change in this country, we are taking a ‘huge’ step in that direction.”

But Trump remains an unacceptable choice for many. Susan Nilon, who has worked with the ACLU locally and heavily criticized the incoming president, will be a part of the Women’s March, a protest of the new administration. She has protested events in Washington before and feels the need remains greater than ever for such protests today. “Thirty years later and I am still marching on Washington to stand up for women’s rights,” Nilon says. “After watching this past election, I became enraged.  I will not sit and wait. President Trump has said and done enough to show me that he has no respect for women. I am marching to hold him accountable for his words and deeds.”

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