JONESVILLE, Mich. (WLNS) — Many Michiganders are still scratching their heads over last week’s presidential election results, after Michigan turned from blue to red for the first time in more than two decades.

But it’s now time to look ahead, and Michigan lawmakers are leading the charge.

6 News caught up with U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan as he was visiting Hillsdale County to speak with business leaders.

Since the election, people have been asking the democratic senator why Michigan, once a democratic stronghold, went republican.

Senator Peters says it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“Michigan has traditionally always been a battleground state, and I think that’s what we saw this time. It was a very close election. We’re talking about 10-13,000 votes,” Peters said.

Meeting with business leaders at a luncheon in Jonesville, the senator says there are several takeaways from the election.

“We have to make sure that economic opportunity is available for everybody, including our rural areas. That’s why it’s important for me to be here, in very rural parts of Michigan,” Peters said.

Experts believe frustrated voters in rural areas wanting change helped turn Michigan red.

Some are concerned about what will happen next.

Senator Peters says President-elect Donald Trump needs to be instrumental in uniting the country.

“He needs to lead that healing process. I am very open to it and believe working in a bi-partisan way going forward,” Peters said.  “I think everybody has to give folks the benefit of the doubt.”

Peters says a way to unite is to work together on things that impact all of us.

“In my mind, we don’t have democratic bridges or republican roads, they are non-partisan. This is something we can come together on, show the country we are willing to work together on something that’s so critical, and that’s infrastructure,” Peters said.

Later in the day, Senator Peters visited a school in Adrian.

Peters says he wants to make more of an effort to visit rural areas in the future.