Friarsgate Park precinct shows Romney-Gingrich split - DatelineCarolina

SC GOP Primary

Friarsgate Park precinct shows Romney-Gingrich split

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By Derek Legette

Although she is not a Republican and hasn't even watched the debates, 42-year-old Benita Barrett voted for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the Friarsgate Park precinct.

"I've known from him in the past. I feel that he is the best representative of the Republican agenda," said Barrett, who's concerned about jobs and home foreclosures.

The economy was one of the prevailing issues that pushed S.C GOP voters to come out on a murky Saturday.

Leigh Thomas, 32, also voted for Romney because she said he's the best choice for an economic recovery. "That's who I was learning toward for the past few months," she said. The nation's deficit and our dependence on other countries were Thomas's top concerns.

But Perry Duncan wasn't riding the Romney train.

Duncan, 62, said he went with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich because of his track record in balancing the budget. "Spending is No. 1 because everything trickles down from that."

Romney's "not a true Republican" and is very liberal, Duncan said. "Right now we need to be conservative," he said.

Some said they picked former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania because of his family values stance.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul scored 29-year-old Aaron Brooks' vote for several reasons. "Civil liberties, national defense, economic policies – I could go on and on," he said.

Paul is the most libertarian of the candidates, saying he would cut at least five federal programs and $1 trillion in spending and bring home the troops from Afghanistan.

"I've been supporting him for 12 years – the first time he really has a shot," Brooks said.   

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