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Taylor County residents know election vital

Editor's note: With one of the most competitive and important elections just three weeks away, The Exponent and Telegram begin a series of stories highlighting the views of our readers in North Central West Virginia.

by Gail Marsh

ASSISTANT CITY EDITOR

FLEMINGTON -- Reflecting the results of the national polls, many residents of this Taylor County town remain unsure or undecided when it comes to their choice in the upcoming presidential election or governor's race.

"I probably will vote for George Bush, but it's not so much a vote for Bush as it is a 'no vote' for Clinton and Gore," said Michael Peterson, a physician's assistant at the West Taylor Primary Care Center.

"The Clinton regime has lent such a lack of credibility to everything, and has let down the people of this country. Although I think Gore is a good person, I would like to see the White House expel that element and go on," Peterson said.

Peterson's mind is made up when it comes to the governor's race.

"Gov. Underwood seems to be so in touch with the people and very sincere. My wife had the pleasure of meeting him when she was a teen-ager, and he is just as cordial now as he was then. I think he's proven himself through the years," Peterson said.

Other residents were not so sure of their choices.

"I really haven't made up my mind yet, but I know it's going to be a close race for president and for governor. We still have a few weeks to keep watching to see what the candidates say," said Arlene Swecker.

Ann Digman of Taylor County agreed with Swecker.

"I'm like Arlene. I'm not sure about the vote, but I can say that I don't like the way the candidates talk about each other. Those advertisements can actually change the way you vote," she said.

Digman said she's leaning toward Underwood in the governor's race.

"I think the one that's in there should stay in. He's done a wonderful job, and I've never heard him slam anyone," she said.

Lala Garlow, a 78-year-old resident of Flemington, said she's never missed casting her vote, and is looking forward to the upcoming election.

"I always say that if you don't vote, don't holler. I've been kind of leaning toward Bush, but it's still up in the air. I'm more interested in the governor's race, because if we are going to get any help locally, it will come from the governor," she said.

Pauline Benda, a senior citizen from Flemington, said that when she was young, her father instilled in her the importance of voting.

"He was a naturalized citizen in 1915, and he taught us that whoever was head of the community or the country we should respect, and that we should get out and vote," Benda said.

Assistant City Editor Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at gmarsh@exponent-telegram.com.

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