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Virginians share stories behind their votes

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – Virginians are sharing the stories behind their votes:

Joseph Gatlin, 56, a Republican who moved to the U.S. from Israel 30 years ago, said he’s voting for Donald Trump.

“I think the country needs to give a chance to a businessman,” said Gatlin, who owns a flooring company and lives in Virginia Beach. “I think that he has his flaws like everybody else. But it’s a chance to bring the country back to what we need to be. Right now we’re losing respect around the world.”

Gatlin said immigration is the country’s number one priority because terrorists and “all the haters of America” are allowed to come in. He said Israel’s border fences have been effective, which is why the U.S. should take similar measures.

Gatlin said both Hillary Clinton and the American political system are corrupt.

“I really believe the system is rigged,” Gatlin said. “If Trump loses, and it’s been proven that he loses fair and square, then he should call her and concede,” he said. “But right now I don’t trust the system at all.”

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Elsa LaTorre, a Democrat who lives in Virginia Beach, said she’s voting for Clinton “100 percent” because she’s a female voter and because she’s Hispanic.

The 38-year-old works as a server in Mexican restaurant and moved to the United States from Peru 16 years ago. She said she supports women’s rights and feels Trump’s positions on illegal immigrants are unfair.

“Thank God I’m a citizen already,” LaTorre said. “I think illegal immigrants are breaking the law, but they deserve one more chance to file all the paper work and do whatever they need to do.”

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Joe Hudson, 49, an engineer and registered Republican from Virginia Beach, said he’s voting for Trump because the country is going in the wrong direction.

Hudson said the United States is giving too much money to foreign governments while failing to focus on its own citizens and infrastructure, such as highways and bridges.

“We’re not taking care of our own people,” he said. “We have our fingers in too many baskets. We’re trying to be too involved in world politics. And our country is imploding from within. We need a new direction, a new attitude, and people to stop arguing and letting the media affect how we feel.”

Hudson doubted that Trump will win and said he should concede if he loses.

“The votes are the votes,” he said. “Whoever wins, they win. And then people need to start working together. It doesn’t matter who’s in charge. There needs to be less corruption and less drama. It’s like a big soap opera. I’m embarrassed for both parties.”

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Mohamed Eltayeb, 45, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, said he voted for Clinton because she’s the best choice for the country.

Eltayeb drives a cab part time and also works as a contractor for a school district.

“I believe she can do a lot for the country and for the schools and for health care,” he said. “I don’t know a lot about Trump. He’s just a businessman. I never hear him talking about the economy or education. He has no plan.”

Eltayeb said his Muslim background has little to do with his vote.

“It’s not about that. I’m an American. I see she can do a lot for the country, free education and better health care. It’s all about that.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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