Voters share their thoughts at polls

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 | 6:40 p.m. CDT

"I voted today because I think there are a lot of important issues and positions that need to be decided, especially the attorney general, 23rd District representative and 9th Congressional District."

Richard Burns, 45, physician


"Voting is part of the privilege of being an American citizen."

Beverly Carl, retired


"Voting is a privilege and responsibility."

Anne Fitzsimmons, 49, physician


"Voting is an important part of the democratic process. Stephen Webber grew up next door to me. He's a wonderful human being, and I hope he wins."

Don Sievert, 65, MU professor of philosophy


"I always vote. Everyone should do it."

Scott Robinson, 52, orthodontist


"I want things to start being different than they have been."

Frank Stack, 70, retired art professor


"I always vote. I think it's important."

Ellen Allton, 73


"The governor's race is interesting because there are a lot of differences in the candidates. I say it's important to get out and express your opinion. It makes you think and stay in tune with what's going on in society and the world."

Mike Mayer, psychologist


"Voting is a privilege, and I hope everybody takes advantage of it. If you don't play, you can't complain."

Jon Poses, 55, executive director of We Always "Swing" Jazz Series


"We need to do a little revising on how we do elections. I must have gotten 20 calls yesterday. It made me so disgusted I probably wouldn't have voted if I weren't so determined to vote."

Mary Kenney, 84, retired teacher


"I wanted to make sure I voted for governor. I know the guy I want to vote for (Kenny Hulshof), and I want him to win."

Beth Courtney, 32, administrative assistant


"It's early, but I'm most concerned with who gets into the governor's office because we need a Democratic governor, and we could use a Democratic attorney general, too."

Jenny Young, 38, attorney


"I'd like to see Jay Nixon and Sean Spence win. I went to a ‘meet the candidate' with Sean Spence, and I was impressed with some of his ideas. And I'm just ready for a change of governors."

Jeanine Pagan, 56, nurse


"Jay Nixon has said he's going to eliminate telemarketer calls, so now he should eliminate people calling running for office. ... I just feel like the Democratic philosophy is better for the state, and Matt Blunt did a lousy job as governor."

James Goff, 61, retail


"It's our right and duty to vote. I'm interested in all races. I'm interested in candidates that are pro-life. I really want to see Hulshof get governor."

Doris Bailey, 65, retired homemaker


"Mostly the 9th Congressional District and the governor's race. Those were the two on the Republican side that got the most attention and were the most contested. They interested me the most. ... I voted for Olivo because I felt Luetkemeyer and Onder were too negative for me. I originally I was going to vote for one of them, but I heard too many negative ads, so I switched at the last minute."

Nathan Wright, 25, law student


"I've been paying attention to negative ads, with one candidate in particular making them. And I wanted to cast a vote specifically not in support of that candidate. The negative campaigning thing is something that transcends party lines. If a candidate can't make his case based on positions he holds and has to resort to attacking his opponent, he doesn't have a firm enough faith in himself or his own positions to merit my vote."

Elizabeth Kraatz, 45, stay-at-home mom, former nurse


"There's a bunch of good candidates. I like Mary Still and Judy Baker and Jeff Harris. There's a lot of candidates with good integrity this year. We know four or five personally, and they're good people."

Judy Knudson, 67, music teacher


"I've been listening to Republican stuff mostly, but I voted Democratic. They just make more noise. ... I voted for Spence because he was the best candidate."

John Bolton, 59, registered nurse


"I'm here to make sure Hulshof becomes governor. He holds a lot of the same values that I hold, and it's time somebody talks straight and doesn't just talk things that are politically correct."

Tim Hulen, 44, medical sales


"I feel it's very important to vote in every election, and I'm concerned with women's and children's issues, and I think that Democrats represent those."

Vikki Hague, 61, property manager and real estate agent


"I support Judy Baker, Jay Nixon and Jeff Harris - he's a local boy, and he'll do a good job for the state if he wins."

Barbara Rodhenberger, 69, retired


"My husband is very political, and I always vote. We live in a very Democratic neighborhood, and we're Republicans, so we come down to support our party and have signs in our yard."

Judy Irelan, 37, claims representative


"I think we have a crisis for our state in health care, economy and education. You have to make a decision in the primary for the best long-term future. I think it's best to have a variety of opinions and discussion with a multi-party approach that facilitates the discussion."

Janie Vale, 58, physician


"There was way too much campaigning. I wish they didn't spend so much money on campaigning. I think it's a waste of time, but it must work."

Arlene Kalaf, 68, doctor's office manager


"I am Republican and business oriented, but I am in favor of a woman's right to choose, and my party has let me down there before."

Jo Manhart, 74, business owner


"It's time to balance out the last seven or eight years with the Republicans in the White House, Congress and the state. It filters down, so I'm going to vote for the Democrats of my choice, and hopefully we do effect some change. If all we do is move a little bit, it's going to trickle down and create incremental change on a federal, state and local level."

Andy Smith, 64, self-employed


"The elections for Congress and the attorney general are important to me because they affect the day to day. There are good candidates running for both."

­— Jim Levin, 50, MU professor


"I vote every chance I can. I mean, I think it's a rare right that not everybody has."

Walter Telthorst, 43, research analyst


"I always vote."

Margaret Kirby, 63, office manager


"I know Sean Spence pretty well. I think he'd be a great representative."

Adam Plevyak, 34, business owner


"I came out to vote for governor. I'm interested in that more than any other ... because we have such a horrible governor."

Bev Morrow, 61, unemployed


"Special interest groups are controlling their campaigns, not politicians. You see it at the gas pumps, you see it with the housing prices and predatory lending and there not being any kind of regulation to stop that from happening. And that's one of the reasons I'm voting Democrat is, you know, that was also true with Republicans being in control for six years and then the Bush administration."

John O'Laughlin, 45, painting contractor


"I'm torn between Mary Still and Sean Spence. I went with Mary Still just because of the experience. You've got to hand it to Spence. He's run a good campaign. I felt kind of bad about that one."

Dan Murphy, 51, teacher


"I think Kenny Hulshof is a yes-man. Didn't want any more of that. (Sarah Steelman's) not popular with the other politicians."

Jason Hinsen, 25, research specialist


"My neighbor's running for the 25th District ­— Mary Still. I'm just voting for her."

Anthony Hose, 39, real estate broker


"Most of the time, I just take the sample ballot and go on the Internet and start researching."

Cori Day, 31, works for the City of Columbia


"These are the people who make the policies we have to live by. They affect me in all sorts of ways."

Mary Wozny, 68, retired from an insurance company


"Probably for me, it was a little more personality-driven than issues. At the primary level, it seems like a lot of the candidates have similar platforms."

Brad Lear, 31, attorney


"We have to spend money for the state to operate, therefore we have to be taxed, but spend my money wisely."

Phil Wood, 67, Lincoln University instructor, retired from Columbia Public Schools


"It's been kind of a mediocre year for me. I don't like any of them."

Dennis Dudley, 52, FedEx employee


"I don't think (Medicaid) should be cut. There are a lot of people who can't afford insurance, especially senior citizens."

Martha Singleton, 70, housewife


"I'm a Democrat because I feel that they are more for the common person."

Trudie Murphy, 56, retired clerical worker


"I know a lot about what (Jeff Harris) has done as a representative, and I think he's the most qualified."

Missy Marlett, 41, court clerk


"I support Jay Nixon because I feel he's done well for the state as attorney general. I think he's got a lot of strength going into the race for governor."

Steve Jones, 36, attorney


"I think Judy Baker's stance on education is outstanding. She's dedicated and she has a lot of stamina to work through this. I also like her opportunities for veterans."

Susan McClintic, 46, educator with Columbia Public Schools


"Tom Schauwecker has done a great job with a difficult job."

Pete Grathwohl, 52, paving contractor Emery Sapp & Sons


"Stephen Webber seems to balance Republican strong military with social needs, education and welfare more than anyone. His age is a better cross-section of all generations."

Thomas Scharenborg, 36, photographer


"The governor's race is most important. We need a big change. Jay Nixon is going to be good for the state. He knows the things he stand for."

Lisa Hubbard, 46, medical technologist


"The billionaire tax breaks that the county assessor has given to all of our largest developers, that prompted our voting."

Mike Martin, 46, a writer


"I guess my biggest reason to come out was to vote for Stephen Webber. He's local. He's 25. I think he represents the future for politics, and he'd be a good representative."

Cathy Barnes, 48, health care worker at Boone Hospital Center


"I always vote. I don't think I've missed but one election in all the times I've been qualified to vote. And that was because I was out of town. ... I think one major issue is the divisiveness in this country between parties and candidates that has made people and issues secondary."

Khaki Westerfield, 68, educator


"I don't want all those calls anyway. Now how can that be any good?"

Sally Fulweiler, 77, housewife and yard tender


"I think (Jeff Harris) listens to his constituents and is a concerned politician and representative."

Chrissy McCartney, 35, attorney


Andria Simckes is "a strong woman candidate running against three men. I thought she deserved a shot."

Addison Myers, 76, retired educator


Jay Nixon "has a lot of integrity and cares about the average citizen, not just the special interest groups."

Debbie Robison, 56, in administration at MU


"Basically I just... it was kinda simple. I voted for the person the current (public) administrator didn't endorse. It will be different, I hope."

Pat Dixon, 56


"I always vote, that's my duty, I need to vote, even if I vote wrong."

Gerald Bramon, 78, retired construction


"The pendulum of politics swings back and forth all the time. It's too far in one direction right now."

Paul Ritchie, 83, retired professor


"Personally, I'm looking for people interested in alternative fuel and our economy. ... I really feel badly for people living on the margins who have to deal with these gas prices."

Wendy Evans, 60, registered nurse


"All the negative phone calls (are bad strategy) because they don't say who they were from. And they backfired. It made me look more closely at (the candidates the calls attacked.) I voted for those people after the closer inspection."

Paula McFarling, 59, research project coordinator


"I felt offended by the volume of robo-calls I got, and the money sloshing around during this campaign."

Haskell Hinnant, 72, retired professor


"As an independent, I wanted to cross vote. ... I felt I was forced to vote for people I'm not interested in and not able to vote for people I was interested in."

­— Linda B. Wright, 68, vocal music teacher



"I just have never liked that I can just choose one ballot. It limits my choice."

Pam Edson, 64, retired


"I met Judy Baker and I liked her, and she said something I agreed with. She wants to help front people money for putting up solar cells."

Gary Miller, 51, power plant operator


"The economy, and the war that we shouldn't be in, brought me out to vote today."

­— Donna Hamilton, 77, retired MU professor


"I suppose most of the local issues like gas prices and things like that (made me vote). They have an effect on everyday life, unlike other issues in politician's campaigns. They hit close to home."

Paul Larson, 36, MU physicist


"I always come out to vote. It's a hoppin' election cycle, and I'll be interested in all the returns."

Anna Lingo, 44, attorney


"Insurance and education are important to me. I think that everyone should have insurance and that the state should put more money towards education."

Jill Fox, 45, graphic designer


"I vote because it's the thing to do on election day. It's kind of like a rule. I vote so that the country won't go to hell in a hand basket, but I don't think that everything is as bad as people say it is. Things are always bad in an election year. It will be better after the election, no matter who wins."

Barry Cardwell, 47, service coordinator for University of Missouri Health Care


"I thought when the Blunt administration chose to take 190,000 people off (Medicaid) coverage that it was awful. They need to get it restored."

Carolyn Doll, 77, retired housewife


"It's really been a low turnout. I'm sorry to see so few people here. It's your local officials who are really going to make a difference."

Lana Gaines, 60, retired registered nurse


"I think we need to become fiscally responsible (in Boone County). We need to take a hard look at bringing in businesses with higher paying jobs. We're in fiscally challenging times, and we need to make this community more attractive to outsiders. ... When I moved to Columbia, I kept hearing we're recession-proof, with MU and our proximity to Jefferson City. I think that's a bit of an arrogant statement. I think that people have closed their eyes from reality. No one is safe from a recession."

Craig McGonagle, 52, banker


"I felt strongly about the county assessor. I had good experience with the incumbent. There was some confusion on why the land we bought at two different times was assessed the way it was. He seemed to be the only person in town who knew the answer. He knows his job very well."

Carleton Spotts, 75, retired professor of music at MU


"I am just a patriotic American. I never miss an election. There is a big election coming up in November with the governor's and congressional race. A lot of people think that is the only election that matters, but it's a big deal to get that election down to a candidate you care about."

Rex Scism, 40, state employee


"I always vote. There is not a specific race or issue. I am a little disappointed with the Republican candidates this election, and always disappointed with the Democrats."

Bill Pauls, 58, retired scientist


"I've come out to vote every election. It is my duty as a citizen. People who complain and don't vote don't have a right to complain. I have not missed an election in 15 years."

John Henry, 46, caseworker


"The governors race is important to me. I wanted to vote for Kenny Hulshof."

Chad Hager, 36, marketing


"There are really big changes this election. We have a lot of candidates, and I want to weed it down so we can see who is best."

Eric Grant, 45, contractor

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