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Moment of 'congratulations' shows unity between two political parties

Posted at 9:44 AM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 12:07:14-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — During a tense time in politics, an exchange between two candidates from a Kentucky House District race is getting a positive response on social media.

State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Democrat, has served the 79th District in Lexington for 22 years and she'll continue her work after winning the election. One "congratulations" stood out though from her Republican opponent Jon Larson, who came to her house to concede face-to-face.

"In 22 years, that's the first time this has ever happened to me," said Westrom.

She said she wasn't surprised though, because she said he has a good reputation. Larson says there is so much toxicity in politics right now, and he wanted to show that that's not him and it's not how they ran their campaigns.

"We had no acrimony," said Larson. "Neither of us said anything negative about each other, but even if we had, I just wish everyone would stop for a minute and don't hate one another just because they're in different camps."

Different camps, or parties, seemed to further divide this year as concerns over the pandemic and other issues, like social injustice, grew.

When Westrom and Larson posted about the meeting on their social media, the simple gesture seemed to resonate with people, showing a larger impact.

"I'm a Republican, she's a Democrat, but so what? We're both sharing this community and we have interest in the real valuable things that can go on," said Larson.

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During his victory speech, President-Elect Joe Biden said it was a time to heal and vowed to unify the country. Both Westrom and Larson hope their exchange shows that that can be possible.

"That's the behavior we need to have," said Westrom. "We may have three different political parties, but we're all human in the long run."

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