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Across Sonoma County on Wednesday, the emotions of a majority of voters ranged from anxiety and anger to disbelief and despair. In a county where voters went more than 3-to-1 for Hillary Clinton, the looming reality of four years with Donald Trump as president was unthinkable.

Some Clinton supporters compared the election’s stunning outcome to a national tragedy. Others said their grief felt similar to that experienced after the death of a family member, a nagging, sinking pit in the stomach.

The overwhelming advantage Democrats hold over Republicans on the North Coast translated to a dejected electorate Wednesday, hours after Trump’s insurgent victory, against the tide of California’s electoral votes and the nearly 70 percent of Sonoma County ballots cast in favor of Clinton. For many of those voters, Trump’s victory was a repudiation of their dearest ideals, including American integrity, civil discourse and a belief in multiculturalism.

“I’m really disappointed with the rest of America,” said Rohnert Park resident Joe Scherone, 60, who voiced deep concerns about what Trump will do to Social Security and benefits for the disabled. He is currently on disability, recovering from a serious car accident a few years ago. “It feels like someone knocked me out, punched me in the stomach.”

At the same time, more than 22 percent of the Sonoma County residents who cast votes for Trump greeted his astounding victory with jubilation that a much-despised political dynasty had come to an end.

“I feel great relief,” said Dave Salaun, 68, a retired police officer who lives in Petaluma. “Granted, Donald has some rough edges, but he’s smart and a good businessman.”

The polar reactions played out at office water coolers, supermarkets, dog parks and cafes. Wednesday night, people upset with Tuesday’s vote gathered at vigils in Sebastopol and on the Sonoma State University campus, as larger demonstrations took place in cities across the nation.

At the Sebastopol Plaza, local activists tied to the group Moveon.org held a candlelight vigil to show solidarity with people of color, immigrants, Muslims, the disabled and those concerned about the environment. Trump’s proposals, behavior and comments on the campaign trail suggest much is at risk for civil rights and the fight against climate change, participants said.

From within a crowd of more than 100 people, organizer Sara McCamant said she was moved in part by “a need not to be alone.”

“We need to come together and say we don’t support the things that Trump has been saying about the world,” she said

Hundreds of people marched at Sonoma State on Wednesday. The crowd started gathering before 8 p.m. at Seawolf Plaza, where students came together to write messages of love and hope in colorful chalk on concrete.

Jason Gorelick, 18, was among the protesters. The sophomore sociology and political science major, who voted for Clinton, grew up in Hong Kong, and said he “for 12 years watched democracy crumble.”

He said his mother called him Wednesday morning, crying.

“She said, ‘I thought I brought you guys to a better place, but maybe not.’ So now I’m angry. I don’t know about everyone else, but I grew up last night.”

Trump launched his campaign last June, unveiling a proposed crackdown on undocumented immigrants as an enduring cornerstone of his campaign. Wednesday morning, at a food cart at Sebastopol Road and Roseland Avenue in Santa Rosa, Latino immigrants expressed fear that their loved ones would face detention or deportation under President Trump.

Noemi Palomino, a teacher’s assistant and health education worker who lives in Santa Rosa, said many in her community are stricken with fear. Those in most jeopardy, she said, were young undocumented immigrants who were illegally brought to the United States as children. Obama granted them a temporary reprieve from deportation, but Trump has said he would do away with the program, which could extend to 1.5 million undocumented youth in the United States and about 4,000 in Sonoma County.

“A lot of people are really worried,” Palomino said, speaking in Spanish.

Bismark Torrez, 19, is one of those young immigrants authorized to work and to stay in the country without fear of deportation. His protected status, granted three years ago, is set to expire in March and his $465 application for an extension is in, but it’s unclear the program will continue under Trump.

“I feel extremely anxious,” said Torrez, a student at Santa Rosa Junior College who works as a student aide at the campus. “You’re seeing the community extremely scared, you’re seeing parents losing faith and you’re seeing a lot of anger and hatred toward immigrants and marginalized, and that’s hard to fight against.”

The wave of emotion hit Sonoma County as Clinton’s chances faded Tuesday night. Patrons gathered at Rainbow Cattle Co. in Guerneville for a “Giveback Tuesdays” event supporting the Toys for Tots charity had uncorked champagne and settled in for what they expected would be a Clinton victory, one predicted by most national polls ahead of the election.

Instead, tears began flowing as the returns poured in.

“It was devastating, to say the least,” bartender Ben Tacla, 52, said Wednesday after the bar’s noon opening.

A few doors down at Big Bottom Market, Tom Orr, 46, sat alone at the counter, staring out the front window at cars passing by on Main Street. He’d just finished reading a newspaper.

Orr, who is HIV-positive, said he fears not being able to afford medications to treat the disease if Trump makes good on a campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act, Obama’s top legislative achievement.

Orr, who is single, said he also worries that his dream of getting married someday — a right newly protected by the U.S. Supreme Court — is now threatened. Other gay men interviewed Wednesday in Guerneville echoed those fears.

“Tomorrow is the anniversary of when my mom died,” Orr said. “I thought that was sad. This completely blows it away.”

Edelweiss Geary, chairwoman of the Sonoma County Republican Party, made the case that fears about a Trump presidency are being overblown.

“I really don’t think Donald Trump is coming to California to do us in,” Geary said. “I think the fear is spread by some people because when you can have people afraid, you can have a certain control over them.”

Visible signs of support for Trump in the county have been scarce. The local GOP’s Guerneville Road headquarters is unmarked out of concern the building will be vandalized and Geary said many local Republicans refrained from putting out Trump yard signs or bumper stickers over the same concern.

“A lot of friendships have been destroyed because if you vote Republican (in Sonoma County) you really have a very difficult time,” Geary said. “Maybe people on the other side don’t understand that, but that’s also a real fear.”

Several Trump supporters on Wednesday shared reservations about publicly expressing their joy over him becoming the nation’s 45th president.

At Andy’s Produce Market in Sebastopol, a woman who described feeling “ecstatic” at Trump’s win declined to give her name, saying “this county is not good for me.”

She said her daughter, who was aware she was voting for Trump, called Wednesday morning to express in language tinged with profanity her amazement that anyone could vote for the reality TV star and real estate developer.

“That hurt,” the mother said.

Several of those in attendance at the Sebastopol rally said Trump’s often hostile rhetoric about immigrants, people of color and others would unify and mobilize his critics toward a social revolution.

“This work has been going on for a long time, and it’s going to keep going on,” Dave McClary said.

Teresa Smith, 48, of Santa Rosa said she’s feeling what many others in the county are feeling: shock, numbness and anger. Smith, who is African-American, said she is fearful of the deep racial divide underlining Trump’s election. The New York businessman rode a wave of support from white, blue-collar and working-class voters to victory Tuesday night. While cast by Trump as a revolt against an uncaring and elitist political establishment, some of that upheaval was also tinged with resentment of the nation’s first black president and ethnic minorities and immigrants making up a greater share of the U.S. population.

Smith, a case worker for a local foster care agency, said she’s not ready to cede the nation to those who want to step “back 100 years.”

“I can’t, it’s the future of my daughter and generations to come,” she said. “I’ll never give up on America.”

Staff Writers Mary Callahan and Christi Warren contributed to this story.

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