Biden in line to be 46th president in close election race; Trump disputes results

Following a close election, former Vice President Joe Biden appears to have unseated President Donald J. Trump and the president-elect is in line to be the nation’s 46th president on Jan. 20, 2021.

The Associated Press, which declared Biden the winner on Nov. 7, stated that as of Nov. 10, the president-elect had 76,344,709 votes and 290 electoral votes and Trump had 71,445,181votes and 214 electoral votes. Trump had strong support in the High Plains region as he won in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. Biden’s wins came in Colorado, New Mexico and Minnesota.

Biden this past weekend declared he had won the victory and pledged to unite the country and earn the confidence of all Americans.

“For that is what America is about—the people—and that is what our administration will be about. I sought this office to restore the soul of Americans, to build the backbone of the nation—the middle class.”

Biden said he understood the disappointment Trump supporters felt and asked those supporters to give each other a chance, to tone down the rhetoric and listen to each other.

“We are not enemies,” he said. “We are Americans.”

Trump had not conceded the race in the aftermath of the post-election saying he had actually won the race. His election team has launched a legal challenge in multiple states.

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.”

Dec. 8 is the deadline for resolving election disputes and the electors will meet in each state on Dec. 14 and cast their ballots for president and vice president.

Farm groups comment

Farm organizations have pledged to work with Biden.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation congratulates President-elect Biden on his election, as well as the representatives and senators elected to serve in the 117th Congress,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “President-elect Biden will be presented with opportunities to improve the lives of rural Americans and this nation’s farmers and ranchers, who are facing challenges never experienced in this country’s history. A global pandemic, trade disputes and severe weather have converged to take a mighty toll on agriculture and beyond, impacting families and communities across the United States.

“Unprecedented challenges require courageous leadership and the willingness of all elected leaders to work across the aisle for the good of the nation. Agriculture provides a strong model for that, with a long tradition of aligning behind smart policy, not party lines. We urge all those chosen by the people to use the election to turn the page on partisanship and commit to working together. Show farmers, ranchers and families across America that we will rise to meet the challenges before us together as one nation.

“For agriculture, the priorities include expanding trade and market access so farmers can focus on competing in a fair marketplace. Rural broadband has expanded in recent years, but the time has come to complete the grid and end the crippling disadvantage faced by farms, families and communities without broadband access. The ability of farmers to feed America is directly tied to their ability to attract and hire employees, so we must find a fair solution to the farm labor shortage. We must strengthen the farm bill and build on advancements made toward regulatory reform to remove the barriers to prosperity while protecting resources with which we’re entrusted. We urge President-elect Biden to identify these as priorities.

“In addition, with increasing focus on climate-smart farming, we look forward to building on the great strides agriculture has made in reducing per-unit emissions and caring for the land, water and air—all while feeding a growing population. Our journey of continuous improvement requires collaboration with the Administration and Congress to expand research that unleashes innovation, build on conservation partnerships, and help producers navigate the field of developing ecosystem markets, ensuring they remain voluntary and market based.

“President-elect Biden’s term and a new Congress begin a new chapter in America’s story. Agriculture has been part of that story since the very first chapter, and we stand ready to work with our elected leaders to ensure farmers and ranchers regain their footing so they can help make America stronger and more prosperous.”

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew noted the past four years have been difficult for many family farmers and ranchers.

“Overproduction, rampant corporate consolidation, trade disputes and climate change have kept commodity prices stubbornly low, causing farm debt to balloon and farm bankruptcies to proliferate.

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“On the campaign trail, President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he intends to address many of the concerns we have expressed over the last several years. He has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement as well as provide farmers and ranchers the tools they need to implement climate-smart practices, both of which are top priorities for Farmers Union members.

Additionally, Biden has outlined his commitment to revitalize rural economies, enforce antitrust regulation, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, alleviate racial inequities in agriculture, expand rural broadband, and promote homegrown biofuels. These are all reforms that we as an organization have advocated for many years, and it is encouraging to see them incorporated so prominently into the president-elect’s platform.

“The vision that President-elect Biden has for America overlaps, in many respects, with National Farmers Union’s vision. We stand ready to work with his administration to ensure that its policies and programs adequately represent the interests of family farmers and rural communities.”

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor extended her organization’s congratulations to Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, noting their support to promote ethanol and other biofuels. She believes the new administration can restore strength to the rural economy and protect the climate.

“Leading up to this election, we worked tirelessly to ensure that all candidates understood ethanol’s critical role in decarbonizing the transportation sector as well as rebuilding America’s agricultural supply chain,” Skor said.

“Biofuels are the most affordable and effective solution available now, and the new administration must harness those environmental and economic benefits by strengthening the Renewable Fuel Standard, accelerating innovations in climate-friendly farming, and promoting low-carbon transportation strategies at home and abroad.”

The Renewable Fuels Association’s top executive congratulated Biden on his victory, as projected by The AP and others.

“We look forward to working with the Biden administration in the years ahead to ensure a strong and growing market for low-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “During the campaign, Joe Biden repeatedly stressed his support for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, which for 15 years has helped lower fuel costs for drivers, reduce dependence on foreign oil, boost the rural economy, and slash harmful emissions. President-elect Biden understands that renewable fuels can play an instrumental role in our nation’s effort to decarbonize transportation fuels, and he also knows just how important a strong ethanol industry is to our nation’s farmers, rural communities, and consumers. We are committed to collaborating with the Biden administration on the many opportunities that lie ahead for renewable fuels.”

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].