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.

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.

Just Posted

A sign warning of a pack of coyotes hangs near 2660 Croydon Dr. (Aaron Hinks photo)
South Surrey woman sounds alarm after encounter with pack of coyotes

Susan Martin said three full-grown coyotes were lurking around her home

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 13

Steven Vail was last seen at 8 a.m. after arriving at Frank Hurt Secondary but did not show up for his 8:30 a.m. class.

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
COVID-19 cases at Surrey school district drop ‘dramatically’

There were 19 notifications sent out in the first 9 days of June, compared to in all of 245 in May

teaser photo only.
Surrey ‘POP!’ series promises ‘Performances Outdoors in Parks’ this summer

Ticketed concerts, theatre shows and other events start July 9

1,001 Steps – along with Christopherson Steps – was closed by the City of Surrey last spring in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. They are set to reopen this week, as a note on a city sign attests (inset). (File photo/Contributed photo)
South Surrey’s beach-access stairs set to reopen

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps have been closed since April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A 34-year-old man was arrested Monday after Transit Police found him riding a SkyTrain with a shotgun in the front of his sweatpants. (Transit Police)
SkyTrain passenger arrested, charged for concealing shotgun in his sweatpants

Codty-James Gray, 34, was found with ammunition, brass knuckles and knives

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Most Read