OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH)– With the race for the White House in the home stretch, we are finding out what is on the minds of Connecticut voters. News 8’s Kent Pierce is traveling along the shoreline all week. He is dropping in on the breakfast crowd in diners along ‘Route One’ and Thursday he made it out to the Parthenon diner in Old Saybrook.
As the Post Road rolls east of New Haven, it goes through a lot of towns, and when we sat down in the Parthenon Diner in Old Saybrook, we heard a lot of issues.
“The Supreme Court appointees, defeating ISIS and jobs,” said Jean Cather of Old Saybrook.
To help us with the big issues, we turned to the East Shore League of Women Voters.
“We encourage the participation of citizens in voting as well as educating citizens on the important issues of the day,” said Carol Reimers, East Shore League of Women Voters President.
The League also arranged for us to meet a couple of voters at the Guilford Community Center. Guilford resident Lois Smith summed up her priorities in one word.
“Trust. I want Americans to be able to rebuild trust in each other. I want to be able to trust our elected leaders, and I want them to choose leaders that are caring and responsible and intelligent,” said Smith.
While this non-partisan group has been registering voters, they’ve also been gathering opinions. The League’s Elise Low wrote some on these cards.
“I’ve broken them into categories and one person said gun control. Another person firmly said gun violence,” Low said.
Back at the diner, Westbrook resident Gladys Mann said gun rights are important to her. Her husband has a pistol permit.
“I mean, I’ve never fired a gun, but if I ever had a problem, I’d like to have one,” said Mann.
Lois Smith has a different perspective. “I have fired an M-16 and a .45,” said Smith. She was an Army Nurse Corps reservist, and supports what she calls ‘common sense’ gun laws.
“Open carry in Connecticut feels absurd. Anyone having assault rifles that doesn’t have a job that requires that is just crazy,” said Smith.
Speaking of military service, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has any. Frank LaPila of Killingworth served in Vietnam, and he thinks that any commander-in-chief should have experience serving in uniform.
“It’s not good at all for the military. And some of the top generals have been let go by Obama, which really…I can’t say it because we’re on camera, but I didn’t like it too much,” said LaPila.
Military service is not on any of Elise Low’s cards, but the economy is.
“I turn to economy and jobs and one person said a lot of people are leaving Connecticut due to the economy and taxes,” read Low.
Speaking of money, for David Knapp of Guilford, the big issue is the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that allows unlimited political donations.
“Has just opened the floodgates so that whoever has the biggest wallet can buy the election and it’s happened,” said Knapp.
He’s voting for Clinton, which is a big change for him.
“I was a republican most of my life, but no longer,” Knapp said.
Knap said that when he went to the Registrar to change his party affiliation, he said, “I didn’t leave the party, the Republican Party left me.”
Tomorrow, we’ll talk to someone who was in the silent service, but he sure had a lot to say about the political season.