NEW YORK (AP) — Voters across New York are casting their ballots for the presidential candidates in a primary that could be pivotal in both the Republican and Democratic contests.
The state tilts heavily toward Democrats, who were choosing between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, potentially the first woman president, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as an unlikely liberal standard-bearer. On the Republican side, voters were picking between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and a hometown candidate, Donald Trump.
Here are some of their thoughts on the candidates in this wild election:
Dan Carbone, 59, voted for Trump at a high school on Staten Island, one of the few parts of liberal New York City where the Republican party is strong.
“We need somebody like him who’s going to speak his mind and stand up for this country,” Carbone said. “I’m a very conservative person. I don’t like any of the Democrats,” he added, stating that he didn’t see the Democratic candidates “talking about America.”
The unemployed telecom worker, who’s been mostly out of work for three years and a Republican since 1990, acknowledged that Trump can be brash.
“Maybe he should tone it down a little bit, but it’s not his style,” he said.
Carbone said he expects if Trump is elected, he would temper his language once in the Oval Office.
Christopher Brock, an attorney who voted as a Democrat in Manhattan, said he wrestled with the choice between Sanders, who he sympathized with ideologically, and Clinton, who already has ample experience in the White House.
“It was the toughest decision I’ve had to make in a primary in my entire life,” the 47-year-old Brock said. “I believe in a lot of what Bernie says. I believe that there is a problem where our system is corrupt. However, I think Hillary is the better candidate. I believe there is value in her being first lady. She watched it all happen for eight years.
Brock said he is a military veteran who was a big supporter of the first President George Bush “because he brought so many of my friends home from Desert Shield-Desert Storm alive.”
Chris Krautsack, who is 29 and works in customer service, voted for Sanders at a polling station in West Seneca, New York, a Buffalo suburb. He said voters are fed up with the status quo.
“Aside from the fact that he is different from the traditional candidates that we have, I do like his policies on raising the minimum wage and allowing access for education to Americans,” he said. “Ultimately tying up the loopholes with taxing the 1 percent. A lot of the traditional things along with the fact that he isn’t your average politician.”
He said he sensed a lot of support for outsiders in this election more than in the past and chalked it up to a general feeling of discontent with the political process.
“As much as I don’t like Donald Trump, I get why he’s attracting people on the opposite end of the spectrum,” Krautsack said.
James Drzymala, 52, a computer programmer at the University at Buffalo, flirted with the idea of a vote for Trump, but wound up going for Cruz.
“He’s the best candidate out there. He appeals to me because he’s an outsider. He’s conservative. There’s a lot on the line.”
He supported Rick Santorum early on and while he’s happy Trump got in the race, he doesn’t feel like Trump has enough depth.
“Trump appealed to me. People are upset at what’s going on and that appeals to people. Other than that though, he concerns me because I think he’s shallow. He has a lot of good one-liners but doesn’t have much depth.”
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