Arkansas Political Leaders React To Presidential Race Being Called For Biden

Nov 7, 2020

Two supporters of President-elect Joe Biden walked among backers of President Trump Saturday afternoon at the Arkansas state Capitol. At times there were heated confrontations, with Little Rock police officers eventually arriving to make sure the impromptu demonstration remained peaceful.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former Vice President Joe Biden has won the 2020 U.S. Presidential election after it became clear Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral college votes would fall for the Democratic candidate.

“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden noted in a Saturday morning statement after the Pennsylvania vote. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans – whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”

“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice-President-elect Harris. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Biden added.

Pennsylvania put Biden at 273 electoral college votes with 214 for Trump. Several states have yet to be called, but the race is now considered out of reach for Trump based on remaining votes. President Donald Trump on Saturday said the race is not over and that his campaign would be active with court filings on Monday.

“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Trump said in a statement on Saturday. “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

Armed supporters of President Trump demonstrate Saturday in front of the Arkansas state Capitol.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As of 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, the popular vote – with 92% in – also fell for Biden with 74,478,345 votes and 70,329,970 votes for Trump. Most major networks – including Fox News, NBC, CNN and the Associated Press – have called the race for Biden.

The win by Biden also means the country will have its first female vice president in U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is also African American and of Indian descent.

Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray said he hopes the election win for Biden will bring the country together.

“Our nation has come together to choose a path of kindness, decency, and respect. This is a path that includes all Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and independents. We have voted to take a stand against the ugliness that has plagued our country for far too long,” Gray said in a statement. “People of all backgrounds and all walks of life faced this moment head on, and chose to rise to the challenge. Our country now has a chance to heal, to come together, and to build toward a better future.”

Republican Party of Arkansas Chairman Doyle Webb said he does not believe the race is over yet.

“Television networks may have reached a decision on this presidential election but it is our belief at the Republican National Committee that every legal vote must be counted. The political prognosticators said this was to be a nation-wide blowout, and that has not been the case; this is certainly not a mandate. We have seen the Republican Senate Majority hold onto seats they were projected to lose and we have won seats in the House of Representatives, which leads me to believe this race is not over until every recount and lawsuit are brought to their conclusions,” Webb said.

As news of Biden being declared the winner spread, armed supporters of President Trump began gathering at the state Capitol, some waving signs saying "Stop the Steal." At times they got into heated exchanges with Biden supporters. Initially State Capitol officers watched from a distance, while drone buzzed overhead. Eventually the Little Rock Police Department had officers on the scene working to keep the two sides apart.

In Arkansas, President Trump received 62.5% of the vote and Biden received 34.6%.