Locals say support for Clinton growing at Democratic National Convention

Local representatives predict that most of Sanders' supporters will support Clinton

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras said it is important for Sanders' supporters to support Clinton's campaign to prevent Trump's election.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WYTV) – Hillary Clinton being the first female presidential nominee of a major party is catching on with women of the Mahoning Valley, including a fellow politician.

“Very emotional night for all of the women in the country and our daughters,” said Michele Lepore-Hagan, who represents Ohio’s 58th District.

Wednesday night, all of the focus in Philadelphia now shifts to outgoing-President Barack Obama. Twelve years ago, he made a speech at the Democratic National Convention which took him from an obscure candidate to the head of the presidential race and then the White House.

He hopes his speech Wednesday fires up the Democrats.

“He’s going to make sure this historic moment that we had in the arena lat night continues on and we continue to unify the party to go forth on the 103 days until the election,” said Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras.

President Obama has watched the convention and even stayed up until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday working on his speech after hearing his wife.

“In the back of his mind he’s thinking, ‘I can’t let my wife out-do me, I’m the president of the United States.’ But I’m sure he’s very proud of her and the work that she’s done,” State Rep. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, said.

Meanwhile, the Republican nominee Donald Trump was extremely vocal on Wednesday, and Democrats said they know it is just the beginning.

“I think he wants to win. He’s in it now. Donald Trump is in it to win it, and he could,” said Capri Cafaro, D-Liberty.

Trump’s primary performance in eastern Ohio was dominating, sweeping counties from Ashtabula to Gallia as Democrats crossed over to vote Republican.

The Bernie Sanders movement has also gained momentum throughout the race, but with his concession, a new poll shows 90 percent of his supporters will support Clinton in November.

Youngstown State University student Ernie Barkett said he was a supporter of Sanders’ campaign, but he is energized seeing the support of Clinton.

“She’s won the nomination, and we all want to support her 100 percent,” he said.

Barkett, a member of YSU’s Young Democrats Club, said he believes that those protesting at the DNC represent a small segment of Sanders’ supporters and he believes many will come on board to the Clinton campaign.

Betras said the same.

“It’s easy to boo, and it’s easy to chuckle, and it’s easy to jeer, but it would be really hard for those Bernie supporters to say, ‘I was responsible for Donald Trump becoming president,” Betras said.

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