October 22, 2012

In discontented Washington County, many favor Romney – or no one

It's difficult to find many people satisfied with the state of the country in the economically troubled area.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Stephen J. Smith, owner of Smitty’s Trading Post on Route 1 in Machias, says he’ll vote all Republican.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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George Gendron, a maintenance manager at the Machias Motor Inn, repairs a door handle to a hotel room Wednesday. Gendron says he’ll vote for Mitt Romney in the presidential election.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

He characterized the political talk about cutting taxes as pandering.

"It's a bunch of poop," he scoffed. "They're politicians."

He predicted a Romney win in Washington County.

Stephen J. Smith guaranteed it.

Obama may win Maine, "but we've got the Second (Congressional) District wrapped up for Romney. It's a wrap," said Smith, a self-described "short, fat, bald man" who owns Smitty's Trading Post.

His business is firearms. He buys, sells and trades guns of all shapes and sizes, and teaches people how to use them.

He's voting Republican across the board -- "no ifs, ands or buts" -- and said most of the people he knows will do the same. He doesn't think the election will even be close up here.

The last four years have been disastrous, he said. People have no money, no jobs and no prospects. The country's social welfare system has made it attractive for folks to stay home and not work, he said. The only reason the unemployment rate is dropping is because people have stopped looking for work, Smith said.

His motivating issues?

"Small business and jobs and we the people," he said.

As a gun-shop owner and proud member of the National Rifle Association, Smith vigorously backs any candidate who supports gun rights.

In this election, he said, it's a clear choice.

Back at the boat ramp, Ingrish shrugs his shoulders. Obama, Romney -- what difference will it make?

All he knows is that he has less money in his pocket now than at any other time since Bill Clinton was president. He's paying more than $4 for a gallon of diesel fuel, and pumps about 60 gallons at a time for his boat, at least twice a week. "It's the price of doing business," he said.

He has no intention of pumping less fuel or fishing less. He just shells out more money.

He's fished here since he was 9 and intends to do so the rest of his working life, regardless of the outcome of the election.

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


Twitter: pphbkeyes


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