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Wrapping Up the First Presidential Debate: Locals React

Voters across the country are one step closer to choosing the next president of the United States.

Millions tuned in to see the first of three, heated debates between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton started their first presidential debate with a handshake.

Then they made their cases as to why they should become the next president.

“It must be something important, even terrible that he’s trying to hide,” said Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.

“When she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted, as soon as she releases them I will release my tax returns,” said Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.

Clinton and Trump hit on each other’s controversial issues — as well as on the issues.

They touched on hot-button topics like the role of police, restricting gun purchases for people on the do-not-fly list and the economy.

“For 30 years you’ve been doing it and now you’re just starting to think of solutions — excuse me — I will bring back jobs,” Trump said.

“It would be the most extreme version,” Clinton said. “The biggest tax cuts for the top percent of the people in this country that we’ve ever had. I call it Trump-ed up trickle down.”

It even got personal at times.

“You’ve seen me, I’ve been all over the place,” Trump said. “You decided to stay home and that’s OK.”

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate and yes I did. I prepared to be president and I think that’s a good thing,” Clinton said.

Local voters say they’ve been looking forward to last night’s debate for weeks now.

Both parties agree there’s still significant work to be done in the six weeks leading up to Election Day.

“In this area, there’s been a lot of work with the Grand Traverse County Democratic Party, also the Clinton campaign in this congressional district has six people working full time,” said Grand Traverse County Democratic Party Chair John Snow. “They want to help volunteer and make lots of calls, so they are excited.”

Hillary Clinton’s daughter — Chelsea — is expected to make a stop in Traverse City in the coming days for some post-debate campaigning.

Donald Trump will also be making a stop in Michigan this Friday for a rally downstate.