About 20 people turned out to Pacific Inn Monday evening to watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in the first of three presidential debates ahead of the Nov. 8 U.S. election.

Expatriates search for presidential appeal

A handful of U.S. citizens who call the Peninsula home gathered at the Pacific Inn Monday to take in the first presidential debate.

A handful of U.S. citizens who call the Peninsula home gathered at the Pacific Inn Monday to take in the first presidential debate.

As candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off at Hofstra University in New York, laughter rang out time and again at the South Surrey hotel, as what’s now being described by some as “one of history’s weirdest, wildest debates” played out on three television screens.

Jobs, taxes, housing and deleted emails were among topics raised, debated and criticized by the pair in the first half of the debate, with Trump adamant that “we have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us,” and Clinton criticizing his plan as “Trumped up, trickle-down.”

“Mine would create 10 million jobs and yours would lose us 3½  million jobs,” Clinton said.

Tuesday, various media described Trump as a dominant force early in the debate – who went on to interrupt his opponent dozens of times over the course of the evening – but a composed, prepared Clinton as the overall winner.

At the Pacific Inn Monday, Denis Mikolaycik, a White Rock real estate agent who hails from southern California, said who will ultimately come out on top on Nov. 8 “is still potentially up in the air.”

Regardless, “it’s going to change the face of America,” Mikolaycik said. “Half the country despises each of these candidates.”

Describing himself as someone who votes for the person, not the party, Mikolaycik said he has many friends and family who are supporting Trump “because of the novelty and hatred of the establishment.

“It’s not necessarily he’s the best man, it’s just the best time to buck the system,” he said.

Mikolaycik, however, will cast his ballot for Clinton.

“She’s best-qualified for the job, I know that,” he said. “She’s got Bill on her side, so you get two for the price of one.”

While Joyce Dennison said there were some Republicans in the crowd at Pacific Inn Monday – and all were welcome to be there – she, too, would be backing Clinton.

Also formerly from California, Dennison described Trump as a “Jekyll-and-Hyde character” who has no background in politics.

“I don’t think he has the experience” to be president, she said.

Dennison said that while Trump was “trying to attack” Clinton, the Democratic candidate was rising above it.

“I think she’ll come across fine,” she said.

It’s estimated Monday’s debate was watched by 100 million people.

The debate watch in South Surrey was among a trio of Lower Mainland events sponsored by the Vancouver chapter of Democrats Abroad, an organization of U.S. citizens living in B.C. Other event sites included Vancouver and Abbotsford.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read