Blenheim mayor appears in New Zealand media

  • 18 December 2020
  • Author: Dan McNiel
  • Number of views: 456

EDITOR'S NOTE: Shortly after the election, Blenheim mayor Bobby Brock was contacted by the Blenheim newspaper for a story about voting in the community.
That is the Marlborough Express newspaper in Blenheim, New Zealand.  
"I didn't even realize there was a Blenheim in New Zealand," said Brock.
He was interviewed by reporter Jennifer Eder for the Express's website
Worldwide, the U.S. election was a fascination and subject to some sensationalism in regards to nationwide violence.
The following is the article, reprinted with the Express' permission.

Protests, violence and a bomb threat have marred the United States elections but at least one small southern town has managed to keep the peace.
Blenheim is a “crossroads” community of 157 people in Marlboro County, with an elementary school, a town hall, a gas station and four churches, on a main highway crossing South Carolina to Myrtle Beach, which is a two hours’ drive from Blenheim to the southeastern coast.
The town shares more than just its namesake with the town of Blenheim in the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  It is named for the Duke of Marlborough and his seat at Blenheim Palace.
Both towns usually vote conservatively, have an older population, and both are known for producing beverages: Blenheim in the US for ginger ale, fed by the town’s natural mineral water, and Blenheim NZ for its sauvignon blanc.
Blenheim Mayor Bob Brock, in the US, said he and his coworkers spent the last week watching the election results pour in, miles away from the scenes of civil unrest in parts of the country.
There had been no election campaign signs erected around town, nor protests in the streets, and people were not afraid to discuss politics with their neighbors in Blenheim, he said.
“Blenheim and the community are mostly conservative ... We believe that President Trump is the best president in our times. He is an historical president,” Brock said.
He said the community was deeply concerned by allegations that some states were “finding additional ballots” to fraudulently increase the number of votes for Democrat candidate Joe Biden.
“We believe the election is being stolen by the liberal democrats. A disgrace, not what our country was founded on.”
Biden, 77, was elected Sunday morning at 5.25am (NZ time) as the 46th president of the United States, defeating President Donald Trump in an election that played out against the backdrop of a pandemic, its economic fallout and a national reckoning on racism, AP reported.
Trump had previously claimed voting by mail could lead to voter fraud.
He has repeatedly claimed the election was "rigged", filing several lawsuits in several states to stop counting or increase independent observation of vote counting. 
Trump had previously claimed voting by mail could lead to voter fraud.
On Thursday, he said the election had been “rigged”, filing several lawsuits in several states to stop counting or increase independent observation of vote counting. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed lawsuits, but Trump did win closer observation in Philadelphia.
The federal agency that oversees US election security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said local election offices had detection measures that “make it highly difficult to commit fraud through counterfeit ballots.”
Trump took 55 per cent of the vote in South Carolina this year, compared to Democrat candidate Joe Biden's 43 per cent, preliminary results showed, with 71.99 per cent of registered voters having voted.
Those figures were similar to the 2016 elections, when Trump took 54.9 per cent of the vote in South Carolina.
Brock said despite the civic unrest across the country, the people of Blenheim preferred to focus on getting along and getting things done.
“We are praying for peace and understanding,” Brock said.
“We are a community that will help anyone in need. We are about 50 per cent white and 50 per cent black, and all get along.”
They farm cotton, soybeans, peanuts and corn, and the largest industry is Oak River Mills which produces Mohawk Carpets.
Brock grew up in Blenheim before attending a school for future railroad employees at Southern Business University in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1957. The father-of-two married his high school sweetheart Shirley.
“She has made life so wonderful and has always had my back.”
After 40 years in the rail industry, 25 of those in Jacksonville, Florida, Brock moved home where the 81-year-old now works at Marlboro Water Company.
Since becoming mayor, Brock is focused on helping the area thrive, recently helping a resident to buy land for a new convenience store, and plans for more businesses, he said.
“We are continually cleaning up our town so that people will enjoy living in Blenheim.”
Brock said he was confident Blenheim will carry on, whatever the outcome of the elections.
“And I will continue to work for Marlboro Water, the town and my church.”

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