Utah leaders share hope of 'healing wounds' after Joe Biden wins presidential race

(Carter Williams, KSL.com)


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SALT LAKE CITY — As multiple national news outlets called the presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday morning, Utah leaders took to social media to share their hopes of a more unified country moving forward.

"Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead," Republican Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted.

Romney will be discussing the election on Sunday morning news shows "State of the Union" at 7 a.m. on CNN; "Meet the Press" at 8 a.m. on KSL Ch. 5; and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" at 9 a.m. on KSTU Ch. 13.

Current Utah lieutenant governor and governor-elect Spencer Cox congratulated Biden and Harris in a tweet and thanked President Donald Trump for his service.

"Abby and I wish a heartfelt congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on the election call today. Thank you for your commitment to unite us all. We pray for you and promise to work with you to benefit the people of Utah," Cox said.

"To President Trump and VP Pence, thank you for your sacrifice and leadership over the past 4 years. It has been a privilege to serve with you. We understand the toll that elected office takes on you and your families and are grateful for your willingness to serve," he tweeted.

Cox advised those concerned about election results to "know that nothing is official until all votes are counted and certified," and that legal challenges need to be allowed to play out.

"While we may not know which party controls the Senate until after Georgia runoffs, there is hope for divided government. Both the Reagan and Clinton administrations proved that periods of divided control can be good for Americans," the governor-elect said.

He also issued a reminder that "we are Americans first today."

"If your team lost, reach out and congratulate a friend on the other side. If your team won, reach out and reassure a friend on the other side. Here's to 4 years of working together as one nation," Cox tweeted.

Rep. Ben McAdams, Utah's only Democrat in Congress, also congratulated Biden and Harris "on their historic success" while calling for unity.

"Now is the time to put people before party and come together to work in a bipartisan manner on issues that are important to Utah's hard-working families," McAdams said.

Blake Moore, who this week was elected as Utah's freshman Republican representative in the 1st Congressional District to replace outgoing Rep. Rob Bishop, also congratulated Biden and Harris on a successful campaign — but also threw some support behind President Donald Trump.

"I will always support the decision of the country, and I also urge every state to be vigilant as they go through the final certification process," Moore said in a prepared statement "The president is entitled to the fullest extent of the law to provide proof of any wrong-doing, and can make his case before the legal system. With the announcement this morning, I congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on a successful campaign."

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said that the U.S. "will see integrity in America again."

"I am relieved that progress for @SLCoGov will again have back up from our federal government," Wilson tweeted.

Former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. also congratulated Biden and Harris on their win on behalf of him and his wife.

"Mary Kaye and I congratulate our new POTUS/VPOTUS-elect. Transitions in power are a moment of celebration for some but high anxiety for others. The Joe Biden I know will embrace all Americans with calm and a much needed sense of humanity. Let's heal our wounds," Huntsman tweeted.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said she is "elated" with the news.

"As President-elect Biden spoke last night his words touched my heart, as I know it did many, 'We may be opponents — but we are not enemies. We are Americans.' I'm looking forward to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris working to unify and heal our country," Mendenhall tweeted.

The Utah Democratic Party also shared a congratulatory tweet to Biden and Harris.

"Congratulations, President-Elect Biden! #46 #BidenHarris," the Utah Democratic Party tweeted.

"Our next Vice President, Kamala Harris! Congratulations! #BidenHarris," the party added.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill celebrated the "firsts" that took place with Biden's victory.

"Biden Wins! America Wins! A Black-Indian Woman as VP! So many essential firsts! This is America!! Now the work of healing and leadership for ALL in our Nation begins," Gill posted in a list-format tweet.

Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, tweeted: "I may belong to a different political party, but I offer my sincere congratulations to Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris. I'm excited to see her break down this barrier and make the path a little smoother for women in the future."

Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, tweeted congratulations to Biden along with a photo of Winder with the new president-elect.

"Congratulations to President-Elect @JoeBiden. As a Republican, I will be watching very closely to see if you will be true to your word to be a president for blue AND red states. As an American, I will be praying for your success as you take the helm of our divided nation. #utpol," Winder said.

Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, also shared her congratulations to Biden and Harris on their "historic win."

Former Democratic state Sen. Jim Dabakis also celebrated the news.

"Our long nightmare is over. Let us now fulfill the vision of President Reagan, who said in his farewell address, 'America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere...' And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still,' Pres Ronald Reagan #utpol," Dabakis tweeted.

Contributing: Katie McKellar, KSL

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