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A sampling of Md. voters' thoughts on primary day

Tuesday - 4/3/2012, 7:52pm  ET

By The Associated Press

- Here's a roundup of what some Maryland voters had to say as they cast their ballots in Tuesday's primary:

Padmini Nair, a lifelong Republican, has had enough of this GOP presidential primary. And she thinks the candidates have, too.

"Physically, I think, it shows," Nair said after voting for Mitt Romney on Tuesday at Chevy Chase Library in an affluent Maryland suburb of the nation's capital.

Usually, Nair said, it takes four years in the White House before a person appears to age noticeably before the public's eyes. Nair said it was happening already to the Republican presidential candidates, just from the GOP primary.

"It's showing on Romney," said Nair, 64. "You can look at his face and you can see he's totally exhausted, even before he gets to the White House _ if he gets to the White House. So I do think it's been a little tedious."

Nair said Romney was an easy choice for her.

"I do think he is a moderate Republican. He's also got experience, and his business experience is valuable to help with the economy. He also, I think, is politically savvy, because he has been in government for a number of years, so he's got political experience."

Nair said a strong showing by Romney on Tuesday's primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia should force the other three candidates to step aside.

"They have to stop it," Nair said. "I would have liked them to have done this earlier, but this absolutely is the time. If Mitt Romney gets most of the delegates, an overwhelming majority, they absolutely need to drop out, because my concern is if they insist on staying in it may actually weaken Romney's chances of beating Obama, because there's so much infighting and so much competition."

The candidates are all pretty much repeating themselves, anyway, Nair said.

"It's bordering on being ridiculous," she said.


Kathleen and Richard Besha have been canceling out each other's vote at the polls through 50 years of married life. Tuesday was no different.

Kathleen, a 70-year-old nurse, voted for a Democratic ticket, including President Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin.

Richard chose Romney in the Republican presidential primary at a public library in Chevy Chase.

"I have to say it's not so much as positive of him, but it's negative on Obama," Richard Besha said, adding that he believes Obama is spending too much money and driving up debt.

Richard, a 74-year-old retired lawyer, said he liked Romney for being more of a moderate. "I would like to see a moderate in there," Richard Besha said. "None of these tea party advocates."

The couple said they have always gone separate ways at the polls.

"Absolutely," Kathleen said.

"Every election," Richard said.

They avoid debating politics.

"We don't talk about it," Kathleen said.

"No, we would get into heated discussions about it if we did," Richard said.


Steve Swerdlin is looking for some change in the White House because as a small business owner, the "taxes are kind of killing me." Because the gas fireplaces Swerdlin installs and maintains are luxury items, he feels lucky to be in Montgomery County, where the economy has been insulated from the worst of the downturn in recent years.

"I'm just working harder just to make a nice living," the 50-year-old Olney resident said. Swerdlin sees government getting too large and spending out of control. That's why he cast his vote for Romney on Tuesday morning at Olney Elementary School, about 20 miles north of Washington.

"I feel very strongly that we're headed in the wrong direction and I just want to bring some sanity back," he said. Romney offers a good contrast to Barack Obama, he said. Swerdlin believes Romney will rein in spending and lower taxes and he likes his philosophy.

In the U.S. Senate race, he voted for Daniel Bongino, saying the candidate falls in line with his thinking.

"I vote Republican wherever I can," he said.


Republican Ron Frost, a retired IBM inventory-control specialist from Hagerstown, voted for Santorum because Frost said Santorum talked more about issues and less about his rivals' shortcomings than the other GOP candidates.

"I just felt like he didn't condemn everybody else quite as much as everybody else condemned their opponents," said Frost, 76. "To me, that showed more character than what the other ones did."

Frost cast his vote at a high school in the south end of Hagerstown, a one-time railroad hub 70 miles west of Baltimore that is struggling to replace long-gone industrial jobs. He said the economy and stopping illegal immigration are important to him. Frost said high taxes are hurting small business development.

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