San Diegans take to the streets in celebration of Biden win

The American flag is displayed by a jubilant crowd of close to 75 Joe Biden supporters in Cardiff Saturday.
The American flag is displayed by a jubilant crowd of close to 75 Joe Biden supporters celebrating the declaration of his winning the presidential election with his running mate Kamala Harris in Cardiff Saturday, Nov. 7.
(Bill Wechter)

Dancing and honking turn Hillcrest, Cardiff into victory party for Biden-Harris White House


Jubilant crowds celebrated news of a Joe Biden presidency Saturday morning, Nov. 7, with impromptu block parties around San Diego County.

Undeterred by rain, hundreds of revelers had gathered on all four corners of University and Fifth Avenue by 11 a.m., dancing and cheering as a spontaneous parade of cars passed with horns blaring. One resident dressed in a pink sweatsuit cheerfully joined in the din by banging a wooden spoon against a frying pan.

Passengers hung out of sunroofs, fists raised in the air and fingers spread in peace signs. There were American flags, Pride flags, Black Lives Matter flags and Biden 2020 flags.

Another group gathered a few blocks away underneath Hillcrest’s massive Pride flag, and more at the Georgia Street bridge.

At the Cardiff Kook statue in North County, about 70 Biden supporters rallied under gray skies.

The scene was playing out in cities across the United States, after the nation had waited days for votes to be tallied in key battleground states. On Saturday morning, the Associated Press called the race for Biden in Pennsylvania, securing the 270 electoral votes needed for the White House.

Jen Leone, a 46-year-old San Diego resident, joined the festivities under the Hillcrest sign after feeling a sense of “needing to be around other like-minded people and just sharing joy after repeated trauma day after day.”

Frida Espinoza celebrate Joe Biden's win wrapped in Biden flag in Hillcrest.
Frida Espinoza was one the first groups to hit the streets of Hillcrest on the corner of Fifth Avenue and University to celebrate Joe Biden’s win.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Frida Espinoza, 27, of San Clemente, said she didn’t want to miss being a part of this moment in time.

“This is a historic moment in my lifetime, and I’m here to celebrate. It feels magnificent.”

One reveler played the national anthem on his trumpet from the back of a Jeep that made its way through the streets of Hillcrest.

A few vehicles passed by the celebrations waving pro-Trump flags, but there were no reports of confrontations.

Reactions to Biden’s win poured in from local leaders Saturday.

“I can’t stop crying,” Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, tweeted. She followed up with a picture of a snowy scene and said she’d sent her husband, county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, out for champagne.

Sara Jacobs, just elected to the House for the 53rd District, tweeted: “Today we celebrate & breathe a sigh of relief, but tomorrow we get to work. Because there is so much to do. It won’t be enough to turn back the clock to before Donald Trump. We have to go forward with hope and optimism and the responsibility to make life better for all Americans.”

The Rev. Shane Harris, president and founder of People’s Alliance for Justice, called Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “the right leaders at the right time.”

“This country was founded on civility and dignity in a democracy and I believe today is the first day to restoring that foundation,” he said in a statement. “These two leaders will not be perfect and they haven’t claimed to be, however, they promised to restore the soul of this country and I believe they will do that.”

Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, disputed the AP’s call of Biden’s win, characterizing it as “media conglomerates crowning their pick for president.” Trump on Saturday said he was not conceding.

“The election for president will be over when results are duly certified, not when media conglomerates decide,” Krvaric said. “We stand with President Trump in using every legal avenue to ensure all legitimate votes are counted so that the American People can have confidence in their elections.”

— Kristina Davis and Morgan Cook are reporters for The San Diego Union-Tribune