‘We love him’: Esy Ray

By Catherine Duffy

Nov. 3, 2020

COLORADO

Ray, her granddaughter and her daughter at a Trump rally. Photo provided by Esy Ray.

Ray, her granddaughter and her daughter at a Trump rally. Photo provided by Esy Ray.

The 2020 U.S. election has Esy Ray feeling excited and hopeful. 

“I already have my Trump champagne chilling on ice!” says the Latina Republican. She works as a foreign interpreter in Greeley, Colo., a city of about 100,000 people, north of the state capital. 

Ray, 58, was born in Mexico to American parents, and moved to Colorado when she was a girl. Though Ray grew up with Democratic parents, she became a Republican after she met her husband Robert Ray, an attorney in Colorado. He encouraged her to do research beyond what she saw on the news, warning that sometimes the media favors one party over another.   

Ray says she hopes to see a change in leadership during the upcoming election. The state’s current governor, Jared Polis, is a Democrat.

One of the propositions Colorado voters will vote on during the election is whether or not to ban abortions after 22 weeks. Ray, who was a young mother herself, is in favour of this proposition and hopes to see abortions banned all together.

Ray also worries that  Polis has not done enough to stop massive wildfires that have been burning in the north of the state.

“Do you think he cared? Do you think he did anything about it? He was more worried about masks.”

Polis declared a state of emergency and issued a 30-day fire ban in August. He extended the ban a month later. On Oct. 23, he visited families that had to be evacuated from their homes.

Ray says she is happy to be a part of a Republican family. Four generations of women in her family identify as Trump supporters. They gathered for a voting party at her parents’ house weeks ago to prepare their ballots. Ray will deliver them herself to ensure they are counted.

In 2016, Colorado was split almost 50/50 in the polls. The Democrats won with 48.2 per cent of the votes, and the Republicans came in second with 43.3 per cent.

According to a poll carried out by the research firm Latino Decisions in September, 30 per cent of Hispanic Americans approve of how President Donald Trump has handled his presidency. Ray is among those who support him.

Though traditional rallies are not permitted this year because of COVID-19, Ray admits that this hasn’t stopped Trump supporters from cheering him on. Car rallies have occurred all over the country.

Ray’s colleague David Melusky says that the two enjoy friendly debates in the office and have had to learn to “coexist.” 

He’s a Democrat who often finds himself drinking coffee out of a Trump mug – “She hid my Obama mug!” he says. 

Though some have speculated that Trump has racist tendencies, Ray disagrees. 

“We love him. We love him because he is doing more. Before the economy tanked because of COVID, the unemployment numbers for blacks, and Hispanics, were the lowest ever recorded.” 

She says she is looking forward to another four years under his leadership.