Thunder, Lightning and Voting in Deeds Country
Rain and lightning of almost biblical proportions moved over the mountain ridges around the tiny Bath County town of Millboro as polls opened at 6 a.m. That did not deter Pam and Mark Pace from casting the first two ballots at the precinct in the Millboro Ruritan Club, where state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds votes.
Both said they voted for Bath County's favorite son in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Like others here who voted early, they said they know Deeds from personal experience -- it's a place where almost everyone's life is intertwined with everybody else's, and poll workers greet voters by name.
"I think he's a man of principle -- that we know," said Pam Pace, who was first to step up to one of the two electronic voting machines set up in the Ruritan Club's kitchen.
Her husband was next.
"He's simply the best person for the job," said Mark Pace, 73, a retired schools superintendent in Allegheny County.
Both said Deeds's character was an important factor in their vote, as was his lengthy experience in the legislature. They were also comfortable with his location near the middle of the ideological spectrum.
"I think Creigh cuts across the whole state. He's a moderate. He's not a conservative or a liberal," Mark Pace said.
Pace, 66, a retired schoolteacher, said that education, naturally, was an important issue on their minds. So was the recession. And both schools and jobs were interrelated, as some hard-hit districts trim budgets and staff.
"The economy, I think, is on a lot of people's minds," she said. "We hear people being cut off from their jobs -- not filling positions, and putting more children in classes." Before donning her rain coat and heading back out, Pam Pace said that her parents had taken Deeds to his his first Democratic Party committee meeting when he was in high school.
-- Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post editors
June 9, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009
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