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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Voting on principle and looking to the future in Brookline

By HATTIE BERNSTEIN

Staff Writer

BROOKLINE -- Normally, campaign workers stake out their spots outside the Captain Samuel Douglass Academy early on primary day and stay late.

But on Tuesday, the area outside the school’s front door was a ghost town.

Voters came and went all day, but it wasn’t until the late afternoon that two sign holders showed up: Keith Thompson, a member of the Brookline Democrats, and his 16-year-old nephew, Joshua.

The two stood holding signs for President Obama for about two hours.

Many voters walked briskly past the two, staring straight ahead.

A few snickered. One made a disparaging remark. And other shook hands warmly with the two, apparently pleased at having found kindred spirits.

“All the talk has been about Republicans. We wanted some visibility,” said Keith, who was also providing contact information for the local Democrats group.

Nephew Joshua, a student at Nashua High School North, said he’s been a fan of the President’s since before his election almost four years ago.

“I like his ideals,” Joshua said. “That anyone can do anything.”

For most, it was a day to vote for their favorite Republican.

“I voted on principle and what messages (candidates had) as far as what was important,” said Anthony Lombardi, 46, an engineer.

Justin Dapolito, 20, a math and chemistry major at the University of New Hampshire, was voting for the first time.

“I like Mitt Romney, probably the best,” Dapolito said. “His skills can bring back the economy better than the other candidates.”

The college student said he feels voting this year is critical, particularly for young people.

“We’re in a time that we really need to be represented. We’re under the control of people who don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.

He said he follows current events and reads primarily conservative literature.

“A lot of kids don’t vote when they’re 18, 19,” he said. “They wake up when they get to college. ... At 20-years-old, you’re an adult.”

Scott Delage, 42, a sales representative, said he was voting for change.

“We did our research online,” he said.

His wife, Sandra, 45, a nurse, said she was particularly concerned about the future of health care, particularly as it affects an aging population.

“Health care reform is a huge concern,” she said.

Others, including Jane Lancaster, 68, who is retired from the insurance industry, said jobs are at the top of her list.

“I’d like to work part-time, and it’s hard to find jobs out there,” Lancaster said, adding that keeping jobs in the U.S. “means a lot.”

The voter also lamented the size of the federal deficit.

“I have grandchildren,” she said.

-Hattie Bernstein