Local Democrat and Republican react to DC chaos

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Those on both sides of the political aisle in New Hanover County are reacting to the chaos that unfolded in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

Although they have very different political views, both Democratic Representative Deb Butler and New Hanover County Republican Party chair Will Knecht condemn the violence that occurred.

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“It’s a very sad day in American politics,” Butler said. “I am furious, I am appalled, I am heartbroken.”

“It’s a bad day for America today, there’s no question about it,” Knecht said. “Universally, locally we condemn the activities that happened.”

Knecht says as he understands it, the event was intended to be a peaceful protest.

“I had some friends that went, we had two buses from New Hanover County that organized and went, and what I’ve heard is what you saw on TV were a minority of the people there,” he said.

Knecht supports those who demonstrated peacefully but says there’s no defending those who got violent.

“As soon as those individuals began to encroach the capital, it got out of hand and absolutely despicable,” he said.

Butler represents New Hanover County in the North Carolina House. She also shared her feelings about the events that unfolded.

“Disagreements, public discourse is healthy for a democracy,” Rep. Butler said. “That’s not what this is. This is domestic terrorism.”

Neither Butler nor Knecht say they approve of President Trump’s response.

“I would have hoped for a different response, a stronger response, and an earlier response from the president,” Knecht said.

​”This is a soulless individual,” Butler said. “He’s never going to rise to the occasion to do what’s right or American or in anyone’s best interest other than his own.”

Butler says she looks forward to a new chapter in American politics with President-elect Biden.

Knecht also looks ahead to a new chapter for Americans and specifically for conservatives, saying the party needs to be all about its message.