Before the presidential election hits the Sunflower State, The Eagle asked voters who represent a cross-section of the community to talk about who they support among the five leading candidates – and why.
By March 16, more than half of Republican and Democratic delegates will have been awarded. Kansas’ caucuses take place Saturday, right in the middle of this big push.
Kansas’ caucuses are small, but could be important, given how close the races are.
The winners will receive just under 1 percent of all Democratic delegates and just under 2 percent of Republican delegates.
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Today, we hear from Hillary Clinton supporters.
Previous installments: Ted Cruz supporters
Coming later this week, supporters of: Marco Rubio (Wednesday), Bernie Sanders (Thursday) and Donald Trump (Friday).
Frances Jackson, 70s
For Frances Jackson, the choice between Clinton and Sanders is simple: those who study history and those who want to change it: “People who are thoughtful and understand history will vote for Hillary. And those who think revolution will get them there quicker are going to vote Bernie.”
Jackson knows a thing or two about historic change. She led workshops in the Wichita school district as it tried to desegregate in the 1950s, she said, and for the most part, people treated each other with decency.
That’s not what she’s seen in the current Republican debates. “Instead of talking about the future and jobs, they are up there trying to demean each other. I don’t like it,” she said.
She does like how Clinton pushed for education reform in Arkansas, and she likes how Clinton used her faith to help build her family back up after facing public humiliation during the White House intern scandal.
“I think it’s time for the feminists to rise and have a woman president,” she said. “And we couldn’t have one that is better qualified than Hillary.”
Diane Wahto, 75
Diane Wahto gave birth to three lovely ones, but she’s tired of white males running everything. She thinks it’s time for a female president. She thinks her daughters-in-law and granddaughters would agree.
She used to be very politically active but has taken a break. She avoids talking too much about supporting Clinton because she knows many of her former activist friends support Sanders. But she thinks it will take more than a single election to undo the “stranglehold of Wall Street.”
“It’s going to take more than a presidential election,” she said. “It’s going to take a complete overturning of the House and Senate, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.”
Wahto supported Clinton in 2008 with her late friend, Colleen Kelly Johnston, a local women’s rights activist, but she said both were still “thrilled to pieces” when Obama was elected. So in addition to her granddaughters, Wahto is supporting Clinton in honor of her old friend.
“She just always thought we should have a woman president in this country finally,” she said. “I wish it would’ve happened when she was still alive.”