Voters Might Cross Party Lines in Nov.

Randy Payton, with his wife, Karen, says,
Randy Payton, with his wife, Karen, says, "This is a moment of history not just for African Americans, but for all Americans." (Hamil R. Harris - Twp)
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By Hamil R. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lee Rapp is a registered Democrat who votes in every election. But this year, the Greenbelt construction company owner said, he will vote for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) because his own party has little to offer small-business proprietors.

Ken Roberts is a Republican, but the warehouse worker and conservative Christian from Ellicott City said he will vote for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) because he thinks this is a historic time.

Tony Tomasetti, a physical education teacher from Gaithersburg, said he doesn't plan to vote for anybody. Although he said he likes Obama, he said he is turned off by the election process.

Democrats and Republicans are trying to win voters as they prepare to go to the polls in November, and when it comes to picking candidates, Marylanders have a variety of views.

"I am a registered Democrat, but being the owner of a small- to medium-sized business . . . business is better served by Republicans," said Rapp, who has construction projects across Maryland.

Roberts said he has voted for Republican candidates in the past because of his Christian values. But McCain has not won his heart for several reasons, he said.

"My feeling this time is that Barack is the best man for the job," Roberts said. "McCain is just too old."

Tomasetti has a lot to say about both candidates, but don't look for him at the polls.

"I have never voted in my life, because it doesn't appeal to me," he said.

Although Tomasetti might be disillusioned with the election process, his wife is not, he said. "She is voting for Barack."

Whoever wins the White House, this presidential election will be historic, with either the first black president or the first female vice president.

Yvonne Briscoe, a receptionist at the Briscoe-Tonic funeral home in Waldorf, said she likes the advances women have made, including those of her niece Kim Briscoe, who directs the funeral home.

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