Palm Beach County could become new center of political landscape

Young Republicans, Democrats attempt to calm hostility
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 17:16:39-05

PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Young leaders on both sides of the aisle in Palm Beach County question how to handle the fallout after the riot at the U.S. Capitol and what's next for our country.

"I don't know anyone who was in favor of what happened yesterday," said Caroline Melear, who holds a leadership position with the Young Republicans of Palm Beach County. "It was disgusting."

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She said she knows many conservatives who are upset about the election, but they are not behaving that way.

"Our entire membership, none of us want to see that occur. We want to support our president, country, and our law enforcement, and those are our priorities," she said. "Our membership is in agreement with our board that what happened should not have happened."

Caroline Melear
Caroline Melear of the Young Republicans of Palm Beach County called the riot at the U.S. Capitol "disgusting."

Across the aisle, Tom Valeo, the head of the Young Democrats of Palm Beach County, said the next generation needs to bring down the temperature and focus on the fact we are all Americans.

"We are in disbelief. Yesterday I was just heartbroken to see the temple of democracy desecrated on," he said. "I hope this was a splash of cold water on the face of everyone, so that we realize we might have difference of opinions. We might have different fundamental values, but we don't have different principles, so now more than ever is the time to reach across the aisle."

Tom Valeo, head of the Young Democrats of Palm Beach County
Tom Valeo, the head of the Young Democrats of Palm Beach County, hopes the next generation will reduce the hostility that currently exists between the two parties.

Palm Beach County is a well-known hotbed for politics, but it's also likely home to President Trump soon.

Rick Asnani, a political strategist, said expect it to be the next epicenter.

"I think you are going to see both the controversy and advocacy follow him," said Asnani. "I think that the people that want to support him are going to want to be close to him. If they want to oppose him, they are going to come here and organize in our backyard in Palm Beach County."

Rick Asnani
Political strategist Rick Asnani says he expects the controversy to follow President Trump once he leaves office.

Brian Crowley, WPTV political analyst, said support on the island of Palm Beach could change as well.

"Does somebody still want to be a member of Mar-a-Lago? Does somebody still want to associate themselves with the name Donald Trump?" Crowley asked. "It's a little bit like when Richard Nixon became a disaster. A lot of people didn't want to associate themselves with the name Richard Nixon. It's possible Donald Trump went way too far and as a result, people will not want to associate themselves with that name."