August 21, 2012

Off the Trail: Around the paddock, voters are as skittish as the horses

In Topsham, denizens of the harness racing world express deep dissatisfaction with the way things are.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Donald Richards, 80, of Yarmouth says he’ll vote, but, “I’m not an Obama fan. I’m not too much of a Romney fan, either.”

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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Lillian and Roger Bellmore of Woolwich say they are fed up with the current administration and will vote Republican this fall, though they express little enthusiasm for Mitt Romney.

Gabe Souza

He wants someone to address the national debt issue so he can feel more confident that his Social Security check will continue showing up in his mailbox. "You work all your life and they talk about taking it away," he says, slugging down an afternoon cup of coffee. "I feel I earned it. ... I feel I shouldn't lose it because the government can't take care of the money."

Donald Richards, 80, of Yarmouth shakes his head when asked about the national debt. "Each year it seems to get bigger. Someone's going to have to pay it off."

He's disgusted with the whole political process. He's going to vote, because he always does. But he's not sure why. He's strongly opinionated -- "I've been opinionated all my life" -- but has little regard for politics. "I'm not an Obama fan. I'm not too much of Romney a fan, either," he says.

Frank Woodbury of Cumberland isn't committed to either candidate. He's a Republican who voted for Obama last time around, but doubts he will again. "I think I'm going to vote for the Republican," said Woodbury, a paddock judge. "I'm not too fussy about either one of them, to be truthful with you."

By no means are the folks at the fair an indicator of the outcome of the election in Maine. Obama won Maine in 2008 with 57 percent of the vote, and Maine has voted with the Democrat in each presidential election since 1992. People who follow politics believe Obama will win Maine again.

But these folks reveal a restlessness and dissatisfaction with the way things are.

Liz Switzer of Cumberland would love to work with horses full time, just as her husband does. But she has to take a part-time job so that she, her husband and 3-year-old son have health insurance. She is infuriated each time she looks at her check and sees how little she brings home.

It's hardly worth working -- except that she must.

"It just seems with my paycheck, they take so much out of it for taxes. After I pay for my insurance, there is nothing left for me," she says.

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:


Twitter: pphbkeyes


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