Peninsula man attends inauguration full of hope

WASHINGTON — A North Olympic Peninsula resident now in Washington, D.C., for President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration is looking forward to change.

Joseph Lujan of Port Angeles, who has a seat at the inauguration and tickets to an inaugural ball, has been waiting for this day since Trump announced his candidacy.

Trump’s presidency marks a much-needed change of the political system, Lujan said in a telephone interview Thursday.

He is confident Trump will “make America great again.”

“This is historical, you’ve got to understand,” he said, adding this is the first time a businessman has been elected president over a career politician.

“I expect to have some lasting memories and be able to share them with a lot of people I know on both sides of the aisle.”

While Lujan is in D.C., Republicans who were unable to travel to the inauguration can celebrate at the Clallam County Republican Party headquarters at 509 S. Lincoln St. in Port Angeles at 6 p.m. today, said Matthew Rainwater, the newly elected chairman of the party.

Rainwater said anyone who is celebrating the inauguration is welcome to join the party.

Jefferson County Republican Party leaders could not be reached for comment Thursday.

This will be the first presidential inauguration Lujan has attended.

Lujan spent part of Thursday handing out bumper stickers outside the United States Capitol Police Department in D.C. to show his support for law enforcement.

He hopes that under Trump’s presidency, the nation will see less divisiveness and more support for law enforcement.

“If it weren’t for the police and for the military, there would be no USA,” Lujan said. “That’s where I’m coming from and where President Trump is coming from.”

Rainwater said this is the first time in eight years he has felt good about an inauguration.

“Going into the Trump administration, we really believe that he’s going to make America great again,” Lujan said. “He’s not even sworn in and we have jobs coming back to America.”

Rainwater said he feels no animosity toward those who are attending the Women’s March on Washington but said U.S. representatives and senators have a responsibility to respect the election process.

He is proud Washington state Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer of the 6th Congressional District are attending the inauguration.

“If you’re an elected official, I feel you have a certain obligation to support the process, whether your candidate won or not,” Rainwater said.

He said it seems there are many who hope Trump fails. He hopes that isn’t the case in Clallam County.

“I hope that the people in Clallam County and our local elected officials will give President Trump a chance,” Rainwater said.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

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