Letters from the West

Trump and Cruz were lesser evils to Canyon voters

Had Nampa volunteer Re Thompson had her choice Tuesday she would have gotten to vote for Ben Carson as the Republican nominee in the Idaho Primary.

But after Carson dropped out the volunteer for the organization Love in the Name of Christ voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, “because I didn’t want to vote for Donald Trump.”

She wasn’t alone. Several Canyon County voters told me Tuesday they were either voting for the “lesser of two evils,” as George Christensen, a Nampa counselor, described his vote for Cruz.

“He’s more of a conservative,” Christensen said. “Donald Trump hasn’t said anything that shows he’d even run the country.”

The turnout on Canyon County was high all morning. At the Lakeshore Baptist Church where the 27th Precinct voted, poll judge Joan Pancheri had her hands full at 9 a.m.

“I had to call in an extra worker,” she said.

Cruz and Trump were pretty close in the tally I did of voters from Nampa, south Nampa to south of Huston and back to Caldwell. Rubio didn’t get a vote until 11:30 a.m. at Deer Flat Church and then he got four in a row for whatever that means.

The people I spoke with were mostly retired but they included long time Idahoans and relatively new residents who came to live the rural lifestyle that Canyon County offers, much like the farm community where I lived in Illinois when I grew up.

Leiann Snyder, who owns a wedding venue in south Nampa, said she wanted to vote for Mitt Romney, even though ironically she didn’t vote for him in 2012. Since his name wasn’t on the ballot she voted for Ted Cruz.

Perhaps the Republican nomination will end up decided during the convention and Romney might get a shot afterall. She does not want Donald Trump.

“I think our country needs a miracle,” Snyder said.

A long line of voters said they supported Trump “because he’s not a politician,” as Lyle Nelson a retired construction worker who lives south of Nampa said.

“I’m totally fed up with our government,” Nelson said.

Dan Martz, a retired welder from Caldwell who voted for Trump, was frustrated as well but not just at the government but the Republicans in Washington.

“The Republican Party has failed to stop Obama,” Martz said.

He doesn’t like Rubio, nor Cruz but in the end he dislikes Hillary Clinton more. That view was shared by retired smokejumper Bill Werhane voting at the Deet Flats Church.

His wife Gina, a legal immigrant and Certified Nurse Assistant, also voted for Trump.

“I voted for Trump for the security of the borders,” she said.

There friends Gene and Sandy Ray retired to southern Canyon County from California and both voted for Rubio.

“I would like to see him win Idaho,” Sandy Ray said. “We will support the Republican nominee to the death. We’re worried about the Supreme Court.”

Terry Albers, a retired welder from Nampa was all ready to vote for Trump.

“But he went over the top,” Albers said. “He fell our of our favor because of his mouth,” Albers said.

Sharon Travis, also retired in south Nampa agreed.

“I don’t want a bully in the White House,” she said. “I wanted smeone with more experience, some diplomacy.”

She voted for Cruz.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker