Southland primary voters share mixed feelings on presidential candidates

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Voters in the south and southwest suburbs expressed reservations about the presidential candidates and the limited choices as they cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary elections.

The primaries came as President Joe Biden was set as the Democratic candidate and former President Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for the November general election.

“There’s two candidates, and they’re night and day,” said Craig Brown after voting at the Homer Township Public Library.

The most important issues for Brown, as he considered the presidential candidates, were the economy and the border. As he considered those options, Brown said he could not vote for Biden.

“I have to give him a failing grade. He had 4 years to prove himself and he failed miserably,” he said.

Joy Brown said as individuals, neither Biden or Trump are suited to be president. But when she cast her ballot at the Homer Township Public Library, she said she considered each candidate’s administration.

“I like the diversity of Biden’s cabinet. I don’t like the cronies in Trump’s cabinet. And that’s where it matters,” she said.

Joy Brown said she was surprised Trump made it so far in the primaries given the criminal charges he’s addressing in court. On the Democratic side, she said it would’ve been great to have more options.

“I feel we need better Democratic candidates, but it’s hard to replace an incumbent on the ballot,” she said.

At the Orland Park City Center, Felicia Adams said the race for Cook County Board of Review District 3 and 1st District Appellate Court brought her to the polls.

“Larry Rodgers is my husband’s fraternity brother. Carl Walker is my sorority sister’s brother in law,” Adams said Orland Park. “It’s, like, really weird to see these people!”

Adams said she supported Biden. Shortly after Trump was elected, her husband and son were called a racial slur multiple times by other Orland Park residents, something she said had never happened before.

“He makes me afraid for the Black men,” said Adams.

But Diane Shaar, a 67-year-old Tinley Park resident, left the civic center with the presidential slot blank.

“I am upset about what’s going on in Gaza,” she said. “I want to vote for candidates that are pro-cease-fire.”

John Podgorny said he voted for Trump because he was a great president who was robbed of a second term.

Podgorny, who voted at the Lockport Police Department, said he hadn’t really considered the 2024 general election is shaping to be the same as four years ago.

“There’s not much you can do about it. It’s strange, but not surprising,” Podgorny said.

Audrey Manly, who voted at the Lockport Police Department, said she voted for Biden because he has a lot of good qualities. Manly said she was pleased with her options of candidates.

“He’s honest, he’s upstanding, he’s truthful and he’s had a lot of experience,” Manly said. “If Biden loses, we’re in deep, deep trouble. He’s got to win.”