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Area voter's liked Bush's message

November 08, 2000

Area voter's liked Bush's message



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer


Supporters of George W. Bush outnumbered Al Gore backers among Tri-State area voters interviewed as they left the polls Tuesday.

In Washington County, those who said they voted for Bush did so for a variety of reasons.

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"I'm tired of the politics. I'm tired of the bickering between Democrats and Republicans," said Kenneth Wolters, 54. "George Bush has had a message all through his campaign that we come together for the good of the people. That makes sense," he said.

Penny Wolters, 52, who joined her husband at the polls at Lincolnshire Elementary School, said she favors Bush largely because of his anti-abortion stance.

"He's trustworthy. He's honest," said Melinda Hamilton, 42, another Bush backer.

Her son, Ryan, 18, voting for the first time in a presidential election, agreed with his mother's choice. "He was more open. He admitted to doing something wrong in his youth. Gore tried to play it off."

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At Conococheague Elementary School, Jay and Bonnie Shirk had split loyalties.

Bonnie Shirk, 49, chose Bush. "I just like what he stands for," she said. "I like his dad. Hopefully, his parents will have some influence on him."

Jay Shirk, 58, went with Gore. "He's been there for a while," he said. "He ought to know what's going on."

Stephen Gray, 47, said he voted for Bush "primarily because his issues were ethical and for the best interest of the people."

"I'm with him 100 percent," said Gray's wife, Gladys, 47.

"I'm a Republican and I agree with what (Bush) stands for," said Hagerstown resident Linda Richards.

The Rev. Carl Zinn, 63, of Hagerstown, said he voted for Bush because he believed Gore lied.

Gore didn't invent the Internet and there's no way his mother sang him the "union label" song when he was a baby because the song wasn't written until years later, Zinn said.

"I think he's going to bring the integrity issue back to the White House," said Francis Cichy, who voted for Bush.

Bush will surround himself with the right people to aid him in international affairs, said Cichy, 39, of Hagerstown.

Donna Shetler, 45, of Hagerstown, said she voted for Bush because she's a long-term Republican and opposes abortion.

"I think he's credible. He also has been CEO of a state," said Shetler's husband, Curt, 48, an Independent. "I appreciate his stand on controversial issues, especially abortion. He's a man of character."

Pedro S. Bangura, 44, of Hagerstown, said he voted for Gore "because he cares about immigrants." Bangura, who took his son, Shaheed, 6, to watch him vote, came to the United States from Guinea 15 years ago.

Anne Eden voted in Shepherdstown, W.Va., for Gore.

"I wanted to vote for Nader but I was afraid it would take a vote from Gore so I voted for Gore," she said. "Gore is more knowledgeable and caring about the environment. Bush doesn't even seem to care about it."

Hali Taylor, also of Shepherdstown, said she voted for Gore because she is worried about world events like the blow-up in the Mideast. "I'd rather see Gore in control than Bush. I don't trust his instincts and his lack of knowledge."

Jim Rich of Martinsburg, W.Va., also liked Gore. "I believe he has a better stand on the issues that concern me. I also find him to be of better character than Mr. Bush."

At the polling place at North Middle School in Martinsburg, Brenda Kendrick voted for Bush. "It was a very hard choice. It was the lesser of two evils. I watched the debates and I feel that Bush seemed to be more sincere."

"After reviewing everything I feel that he'll (Bush) do a better job," said Amy Orndorff. "He supports more of what I believe in, plus there's that whole Clinton thing."

In Franklin County, Pa., where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats two to one, Troy and Tami McDannell of Chambersburg voted for Bush at Chambersburg Area High School.

"His outlook on family and his morals and values are how I feel," said Tami McDannell, 34.

"I think he has a stronger backbone than Gore and he will bring on people to help to do the job right," added Troy McDannell, 36.

Deborah Nicarry, 56, of Chambersburg, echoed the sentiments of several Republicans Tuesday.

"I feel it is time for a change," Nicarry said after voting for Bush. "I think they are intelligent people who genuinely care."

Nicarry said that although she believed Bush would carry Pennsylvania, nothing would keep her from the polls. "Voting is a responsibility. We should live up to it," she said.

Although Robert Melius, 39, of Chambersburg, is a registered Republican, he said he voted for Gore.

Melius said he's been voting Democratic for many years because he believes Democrats look out for the underprivileged.

"I think Pennsylvania will go Republican. I consider my vote more or less a rock-the-boat vote," Melius said.

Others said they voted for Gore in the interest of continuity in Washington.

"It's been a wonderful eight years, and I would hate to see it change. Gore is best for what we need right now," said Valerie Malmont of Chambersburg.

Some disagreed, saying the country needs a change.

"We need something different. They've had eight years," said Linda Swan of Chambersburg.

Abortion was a factor for some Franklin County residents who cast ballots for Bush.

"I agree with his position on abortion and gay rights. He also claims to be a Christian and that is important to me," Caroline Bookheimer of Chambersburg said after voting. "Bush will lead the country in the right direction."

Terry Ortman of Chambersburg said Bush's position on abortion was what attracted him.

"He's pro-life. That's the reason I need," Ortman said.

Staff writers Julie E. Greene, Richard F. Belisle and Stacey Danzuso contributed to this story.

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