JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — In Jamestown Township, where agriculture is king, it’s hard to go a mile without seeing a farm. It’s also difficult to find campaign signs in support for former Vice President Joe Biden.
In 2016, 85% of voters in the township supported President Donald Trump in the election. Across Ottawa County, about 62% voted Trump. He ultimately won the state by about 11,000 votes.
“He’s got some good, strong principles and I’m going to stand behind him,” Linda Lamers said in 2017.
Lamers, who owns a small orchard on Riley Street, said that in 2016, she wanted someone in office who would represent her conservative values. She said she did not trust then-Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton and could only think of one person in the township who voted for her.
After heavy criticism of the president over the course of four years and a chaotic debate Tuesday night, News 8 returned to the township Wednesday to see if support for the president remained unwavering.
“I wasn’t real thrilled with how the debate went, but it hasn’t changed my mind. I’m still a strong Trump supporter because like I said he’s maybe not well-spoken but he’s a doer,” Lamers said.
Others say their support for the president has increased in the last four years.
“I support him more than last time by a long shot. He’s done tremendous things for businesses,” said Cliff Westendorp, who also News 8 spoke to following the president’s inauguration.
Westendorp owns Jamestown Automotive Inc. He credits the success of his repair shop before the COVID-19 pandemic to Trump.
Throughout Trump’s time as president, many have called him out for racist remarks like repeatedly calling COVID-19 the “China virus” or his white supremacy-appeasing statements following a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left a young woman dead.
During Tuesday night’s debate, moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the president if he would be willing to denounce white nationalist and white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys. Trump would not and instead told the groups to “stand back and stand by.” He later went on to say that “somebody has to do something about ANTIFA and the left.” The president on Wednesday clarified his comments, saying he condemns racism and that he doesn’t know who the Proud Boys are.
When asked about the exchange, supporters in Jamestown Township said they don’t believe the president is racist.
“I think he cares about people, all people. I think all races. I don’t think he’s a racist. I hear that a lot,” Lamers said.
Westendorp said he didn’t watch the exchange but agreed Trump is not racist.
“I honestly think he’s done more than Obama ever did for the Black community, bringing the wages up, bringing the jobs back. It helps,” Westendorp said.
Both Lamers and Westendorp say that for them, the election is about maintaining conservative values and seeing a fruitful economy in the coming years.
“He may not always act presidential but I judge him by his actions and by his actions he’s done what he said he was going to do,” Westendorp said.
The presidential election is in 34 days. Trump supporters in Jamestown say they’re confident he will sit in office for another four years.