Southern NM: Varied perspectives on prez candidates

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In favor of a third option

By Kiana Gonzalez

Most registered voters are expected to side with either Democrat Hillary Clinton or for Republican Donald Trump, but 20-year-old full time New Mexico State University student Javier Acosta is part of the minority who won’t vote for either.

“I feel like I only have one option while I’m voting this year and that’s to vote for the third party candidate Gary Johnson,” said Acosta. “I don’t want to vote for Trump or Hillary because to be completely honest neither of them look like they know how to run this country and if I don’t vote what good is that going to do?”

This is the first year Acosta will vote and he’s disappointed about the major party candidates.

Being Hispanic, Acosta had some strong views toward Donald Trump and his idea about building a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States.

“How is he going to do it is what I want to know. He’s trying to put a border between the U.S and Mexico for what? Because he’s racist and people need to open their eyes and see it.”

According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, Hillary Clinton currently has a 66-24 percent advantage over Donald Trump among Hispanic registered voters. In a three-way test, including Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, 58 percent of Latino voters support Clinton, 20 percent support Trump, and 13 percent back Johnson.

“Even though it may seem like Trump might not win he still has a chance. Believe it or not I know quite a few Hispanics who are voting for him, even after all of the racist comments he’s said. I think it’s because for some people they would rather vote for a racist than a liar,” said Acosta.


Voting is part of being an American

By Peter Foreman

Pete Ramondo

Peter Foreman

Pete Ramondo

With the current election growing more contentious, more and more voters have come into the fold of America’s most revered democratic practice. The Pew Research Center estimates that there are roughly 10.7 million new eligible voters since the 2012 election. But it is impossible to forget the more than 200 million eligible voters from the previous election.

Among them is 54-year-old Pete Ramondo, a grocery store manager from Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Greeting with a mocking, “Make America great again!” and a firm handshake indicative of years of hard work, Ramondo immediately shows his personality; he’s comfortable with himself and is not seeking the approval of others.

“I didn’t always vote because I was always busy, I was working,” he said.

This is a constant with Ramondo, originally born in Mexico, with six younger siblings and two parents who instilled the value of hard work in him. He says his family moved to Doña Ana when he was around 10 years old.

“I worked the fields my whole life.”

Although an immigrant himself, Ramondo had an idea of what being American was about.

“Even though I wasn’t a citizen, in my mind I knew what it took to make it, to be an American,” Ramondo says.

Since becoming a US citizen in 2006, Ramondo has channeled his beliefs to the ballot and says he has voted the past seven years, nationally and locally.

“I align myself with the conservative side, not so much Republican, but not so much with the progressive thing,” Ramondo says.

His wife, Didi, chimes in saying that anyone who knocks on their door promoting a political party gets an earful.

“I don’t see eye-to-eye with Democrats, but I’m not saying I’m a Trump supporter, I’m just very anti-Hillary,” Pete Ramondo says.

What draws him to a conservative view is an issue he takes very seriously, late-term abortion.

“I don’t see much difference between both sides, but that’s the one issue I’m strongly against,” Ramondo says. “Anything else, I could probably live with, but that more than anything makes me more of a Republican than a Democrat.”

Ramondo would not explicitly say whom he would or would not vote for in the upcoming election, but he drives home his beliefs.

“I view it not so much from the political aspect, but from what’s right and what’s wrong, because that’s what my parents instilled in me.”

Election will determine the future of America

By Brittney Harp

Nicole Lee will vote in November for the first time in a long time. The 28-year-old New Mexico State student has strong feelings about this presidential election and said she believes that the future of America is in danger.

Lee has been a registered voter since she was 18. But she hasn’t always voted. Lee said that in the past she felt like her vote didn’t matter, but because of the vitality of this presidential election, there is a burn inside her to show up at the polls.

“This election is going to determine the future of America,” Lee said “I feel like it’s now my responsibility to vote. I don’t know why my mindset has changed, I just have a gut feeling.”

Lee is a military veteran and this factor plays a large role in Lee’s opinions of the potential presidential elect. As someone who has served the country, the military ranks highly on her list of important issues. She favors Trump’s stance to increase the support of the country’s veterans as well as his plan on foreign policy.

Lee said she believes that if Clinton is elected, the U.S. military will be in worse shape.

“This election is a scary first step to whatever future may happen if Hillary is elected,” Lee said. “I feel like it will be rigged for her and she will ultimately destroy this country.”

Clinton’s involvement in the Benghazi attack is one of the main events that has shaped Lee’s conservative stance in the 2016 presidential election.

“I can’t imagine voting for someone who allowed our soldiers to die like that,” Lee said.

Clinton has voiced her stance on the military and what she plans on doing to improve the current status of the U.S. military and veterans. But regardless of this information, Lee questions Clinton’s integrity pointing to the email.

“I don’t know how people could vote for someone who has already lied to the country and is continuing to hide information from us,” Lee said “I think that if those emails were on a personal server and about Chelsea [Clinton] and yoga, then they should be available for us to see. What does she have to hide?”

Lee said that she believes Donald Trump is what the country needs in order to make a positive change. Because Trump has not spent his life as a politician, Lee said he would make a better president, regardless of his scandalous, verbalized remarks.

“He [Trump] will do what’s best for the people of this country, and not revolve his own selfish agenda.”

With current candidates, voting makes no sense

By April Rivera

Ulises Trulillo

April Rivera

Ulises Trulillo

Ulises Trujillo is an American citizen, who lived in Mexico almost his entire life. Raised in Ciudad Juárez, he came to live in the United States at the age of 19 with the goal of attending El Paso Community College.

At 23, he registered to vote for the upcoming elections. He was very enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders, who caught his attention when he referred to America’s history as one of hard-working families coming to the U.S. to create a brighter future for their children.

“And I said to myself ‘I need to vote!’ I hated Trump’s racist comments toward my people. Even though I never lived in the U.S., I had my right to vote, which could make a difference for the following four years of the country that now I call home,” Trujillo said.

When Clinton won the nomination, Trujillo was disappointed. Sanders was winning the race by 29 percent more votes among the millennial generation. As many other Hispanic voters, Trujillo felt the candidates were not convincing at all.

According to the Pew Research Center four-in-ten Hispanic voters (41 percent) say it is difficult to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton because neither would make a good president.

A Washington Post poll showed that 39 percent of Hispanic voters said there is a less than 50/50 chance they will vote in the presidential election in November.

Now Trujillo has decided that he won’t vote in this election.

“I was very excited to vote, but not anymore. Both candidates are disappointing and I wont even bother to vote,” he said.

‘I believe in voting’

By Cameron Gause

Patricia Sanchez

Cameron Gause

Patricia Sanchez

Patricia Sanchez voted for first time 36 years ago and since then she has not missed an election.“I am a firm believer in voting,” says the 55-year-old Las Cruces native. “(I believe in) everyone using their right to vote to pick the best person to run our country and represent us.”

Sanchez, who has a daughter and three grandchildren, said she thinks the outcome of the Nov. 8 election will affect many families. She has strong feelings against the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

“That man doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he just says whatever,” she says. “If I could I would vote a million times for Hillary to stop him from becoming president.”

However, she is aware that many Latinos could vote for Trump.

“There are still others in the Latino community who want Trump to win because he says what he wants and they like what he says. I don’t understand it,” she says.

A Fox News Latino poll released showed that around 20 percent of Latino eligible voters support Trump, while more than 60 percent is in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Immigration a motivator for Latino voters

By Adrian Ortegon

Jacob Fernandez

Adrian Ortegon

Jacob Fernandez

There will be an estimated 28 million eligible Latino voters in 2016 according to a report by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, a significant increase since 1992 when the number was 8.8 million.

Jacob Fernandez, 22, a New Mexico State University student majoring in Criminal Justice, recently registered to vote. In his junior year, Fernandez wants to make his voice heard.

“I’ve waited 22 years to vote and I am glad I will vote in this election,” he said.

According to the CLACLS report, out of the 28 million eligible Latino voters, around 13,586,000 will actually vote. This is a number Fernandez thinks should be higher since all of the candidates have talked about immigration in their proposed plans.

“I think more Latinos should pay attention and vote because we have to stand together and make sure we will be fine for years to come,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez has been keeping up with the campaigns as much as he can, but hasn’t followed the candidates’ every move. Nonetheless, he’s aware of what each candidate has said regarding immigration. And he thinks Clinton has the edge not only because of her immigration stance, but because she has talked about helping the middle class and creating more jobs.

“When it comes to who has the edge, I think Clinton does because she hasn’t talked bad about Latinos,” he said. “I think Trump would have had a better chance if he didn’t talk about building a wall and not letting people in.”

Fernandez decided who he’ll vote for after watching the first debate, but is keeping his choice to himself.

“I am 100 percent confident that the candidate I am voting for will help us, Latinos, in the long run,” he said.

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