NEW YORK — New York City hasn’t gone for a Republican president since Calvin Coolidge, but that hasn’t deterred conservative voters from turning out for President Donald Trump this year.
Throughout the five boroughs, pockets of Republicans showed up to the polls this week to pull the lever for Trump, citing his handling of the economy, his desire to reopen the country amid the coronavirus pandemic and his appointment of conservative justices to the federal bench.
“I’ve been a Republican all my life, I’m a conservative, I like his Supreme Court picks. I can’t stand identity politics,” said Sal Pitello, 69, of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. “We voted for a disruptor, we got a disruptor.”
Peter Papadatos, 41, of nearby Bensonhurst, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had put the hammer to small businesses like the pet supply store he owns, and he welcomed Trump’s message of reopening the country.
“This whole thing with the coronavirus is destroying our businesses, these mandates that they’re putting on us, yes I get it we need it, but they can’t be closing down our businesses and putting us in clusters,” Papadatos told POLITICO. “I personally had to do a Go Fund Me page for my store. Governor Cuomo didn’t do anything, neither did de Blasio.”
Great Kills, a neighborhood along the Staten Island’s south shore, went for Trump in 2016 and appeared ready to do so again Tuesday afternoon.
Scattered Trump and Pence flags hung from porches or flapped atop moving trucks. Signs heralded support for first responders and specifically police. Across from one polling site, Bobby Levy in his red Make America Great Again hat could be seen dangling out a second-floor window as he worked to hang a “No more bullshit” Trump 2020 flag on the side of his family’s home.
As a first-time voter, he said Trump is best suited to guide an economic recovery.
“I vote for who I think will be best for the economy,” he said.
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