FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — State Rep. John Frey of Ridgefield can't wait to witness history — in person — on Friday as Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
In a phone interview from Washington D.C., Frey said he wouldn’t miss the inauguration of the new Republican president for anything.
“This only happens once every four years — the transferring of power from one administration to the other," said Frey (R-111), who is on the Republican National Committee and is the longest-ever serving state legislator from Ridgefield.
“Other countries are envious of what's going to occur, it’s what our country is all about," he said of the peaceful transfer of power.
When asked about the marches planned around the country to take a stand against Trump, Frey was unfazed.
“The election is over as far as I'm concerned, it was two months, ago. [This] is the transfer of power, and whether you supported Trump or not, everyone should want the new commander in chief to succeed," he said.
"I'm optimistic. We have to give the guy a chance, Trump doesn’t come out of a political mold. It's his first foray into elective office. We have to let it play out," Frey said.
Like Frey, Redding resident John Board, 22, is excited to witness the big event up close.
Although Board is a Republican, the attraction of attending the inauguration is more about respecting the winner of the election.
“I'm one who has always had respect for the office of president. It’s not easy to run for president of the United States. You have to be doing something right to earn the vote of the nation," said Board, a former vice chair of the Connecticut College Republicans and a Parks and Recreation Commissioner in Redding.
Board said he and a friend purchased tickets to the inauguration long before they knew who would win the election. "We said this would be historic for our nation. We would either have the first woman president or the first billionaire president.
"I very much believe that this event should be a learning experience for students," said Board, a senior majoring in political science-public administration at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Another Republican, John Downey of Redding, said he is looking forward to attending the swearing in of the candidate of his choice.
"I’m very much a strong supporter of Donald Trump, and I want to be part of a successful, dynamic and insightful campaign to solve our country’s problems," said Downey, an attorney with the firm Rome McGuigan.
Downey said both he and his wife, Claudia, came to understand how Trump gained the support of Americans who felt they had been denied a voice over the last eight years.
"He is seeking practical common sense solutions to the problems facing the country, including politically correct speech, taxes, invigorating the economy, reducing government regulations and addressing the issues of our border and immigration," Downey said.
Trump recognizes that politically correct speech is "like a noose around the neck of our democracy -- and the tighter that noose, the more likely it would kill our freedoms," Downey said.
"It will surely be one of the greatest moments of my life to join hundreds of thousand of others across this country bear witness to the swearing in of Donald Trump as our 45th president."