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Obama wins -- local reaction

Lawton_John McCain was the big winner in Oklahoma's voting, but thousands of Barack Obama supporters in the state spent Tuesday night cheering after he took center stage as the new President-Elect.

   7News talked to some local community leaders who say they have a new hope for the country as Obama becomes the 44th President.

   They say Obama's acceptance speech Tuesday night was full of the word "hope," and supporters say his speech filled them with hope, too. Pastor Ronald Boyd watched the election results with members of his church congregation. "As the song says, (Tuesday) night I believe that God blessed America," said Boyd.

   Boyd says he's finally seen the fulfillment of Martin Luther King's dream -- that his children would grow up in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin. "(Tuesday) night as we saw that America was drawn to a man --- not because of the color of his skin--but because of the content and character of his mind," said Boyd.

   Comanche County Democratic Chair Bettie Simmons says the change she saw Tuesday night was the coming together of America. "You saw every race, every color, every creed, and every age.  You saw one nation, and that's what I have been working for--to show us as one United States of America," added Simmons.

   Simmons says election night took her back to the 1960's when she was a teen, helping illiterate African-American adults learn to read so they could vote.  She says the memories brought tears to her eyes. "If anyone had told me then--or if anyone had told me 10 years ago--that in 2008 we would elect an African-American President, I would have said beyond a shadow of a doubt, it's not going to happen in our lifetime," Simmons said.

  Community leaders say Obama's election will be a tremendous boost for the community. "We'll have young black boys and men that can ascribe to something higher than what they previously thought before. This is the highest office in the land, and basically the sky's the limit now," says Boyd.

Simmons says Obama's election is remarkable.  She says slaves built the White House steps, and very soon now-more than two centuries later--an African-American will stand on those same steps as President of the United States.

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