WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Reaction to President Biden’s inauguration continues to pour in from local leaders around the state, including newly-elected 13th District Congressman Ronny Jackson.
Choosing to attend President Biden’s inauguration, Rep. Jackson was among those Republicans who said it was important to make the trip.
Despite former President Donald Trump’s decision not to attend the ceremony, Rep. Jackson said his attendance was the right thing to do and a way to get things off on the right foot.
For Rep. Jackson, presidential inaugurations represent a turning point.
“I’m going to go. It’s important to respect the office,” Rep. Jackson said. “I’m going there.”
Which is why he is among those Republicans who said they are going to give President Biden’s call for unity a shot.
“I’m hoping that we can find ways in the next few years to come together and do things in a bi-partisan fashion to the extent that we can,” Rep. Jackson said.
But after a divisive campaign, Southern Methodist University Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Wilson said it’s unlikely that the Republican party will follow his lead; especially after the way former president Donald Trump left office.
“He did not attend the inauguration and certainly he has not formally conceded or admitted that he lost the election, so among his most die-hard supporters there will continue to be a sense that the election was stolen from President Trump,” Wilson said.
A feeling Rep. Jackson said he is sensitive to but one that he said won’t keep him from attempting to work across the aisle.
“I don’t want to be the problem in that not happening so I’m going to do everything I can to see how we can get together on certain issues,” Rep. Jackson said.
One way forward as the country turns the page in 2021.
Other local leaders like District 4 Representative Pat Fallon were among those Republicans who watched the election from home.