The Latest: Trump, Biden fight for Florida

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4:50 p.m.

Keith Montgomery said he cast a ballot for President Donald Trump. The 53-year-old Clearwater man also voted for Trump in 2016.

“I voted Republican,” Montgomery said. “I don’t like defunding the police at all. I think that’s crazy and anybody who suggested that is crazy.”

Montgomery, who is disabled, said he’s watched Trump’s rallies on most nights.

“He’s honest,” Montgomery said. “He’s to the point and honest.”

Montgomery said he trusts Trump with the pandemic response.

“It was very confusing in the beginning, and I think that everybody was confused in the beginning,” Montgomery said. “I think he’s done an excellent job.”


4:30 p.m.

Moritz Linn, a 19-year-old student at University of California, Berkeley, said he traveled from the West Coast to vote in Miami-Dade.

Linn voted for President Donald Trump and said he liked the president’s governing style and record as a businessman.

“He is brutally honest,” Linn said. “I like the fact that he will say whatever he is thinking, and he would do whatever he thinks is best, and he doesn’t care whether he is going to get bashed on for four more years or whether people are going to slander his name.”

Linn said Trump took the right measures when he shut the country down earlier this year to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Linn fell ill with COVID-19 over the summer but said he did not feel very sick except for a bit of shortness of breath.


3:41 p.m.

Lifelong Republican Todd Foote voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but the 46-year-old Parkland father of four said he will never vote Republican again after the 2018 shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while his son was a student.

“I went straight down the ticket red my entire life,” Foote said. “It wasn’t until the shooting. It’s sad that it takes an event like this to revisit how you see the world.”

Foote said his son was a freshman at the time and heard the bullets from the biology building next door. Five of his closest friends were killed. Foote said it changed the way he voted indelibly. Gun rights was never a voting issue for Foote before, now it’s his top priority. He’s even become active in local and national groups that support gun control legislation.

“Something as simple as background checks, it just make me sick,” Foote said. “It made me decide this person (Trump), this party refuses to deal with these mass shootings in these kids’ schools.”


1:25 p.m.

In South Florida, 63-year-old Luisa Cabrera cast a ballot for President Donald Trump.

The retired travel agent, who was born in Cuba, voted at a precinct in the Miami suburb of Hialeah on Tuesday morning.

“He is direct. He is a straight shooter,” Cabrera said. “He has done a good job with the economy.”


10:38 a.m.

Nia Casado said she cast a vote for Joe Biden because President Donald Trump is dividing the nation and has to go.

“He’s just a terrible person,” Casado, 24, said of Trump. “He gives everyone the impression they can do whatever they want.”

Casado works at a COVID-19 testing facility and cast her vote Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale.

“Having Trump in office in general is just dividing more people. We need to get him out if we want to come together.”

Patricia Castillo, a 62-year-old retiree from Delray Beach, said she voted for Biden because she’s tired of Trump treating minorities like second class citizens.

“We’ve never had a president who just approved of discrimination and racism against people,” Castillo said.

Castillo opted for a mail-in ballot, which she turned in by hand in September instead of relying on the U.S. Postal Service.

She also prefers Biden’s stance on health care

She also cast her vote for Biden because of his stance on healthcare, adding she doesn’t want her 89-year-old mother to lose health benefits.

“I know we need a change in this country,” she said.


9:22 a.m.

Florida voter Mervat Harry said she’s planning to vote for President Trump because she believes he’s in best position to lead the nation for the next four years.

The 57-year-old Tarpon Springs resident, who was born in Egypt and lived in Sudan before moving to the United States, said she planned to cast her vote on Election Day. She is concerned about the country moving toward socialism.

“I know the meaning of socialism,” the former substitute teacher said.

Kickstarting the economy in the midst of a pandemic is also a concern, and she said she believes the nation will flourish under another Trump presidency.

“We need more jobs, we need people to go back to work,” said Harry.

Keegan Connolly, a 25-year-old registered Democrat from Tallahassee, said he cast his ballot during early voting on Friday for Joe Biden. Connolly said he trusts Biden to surround himself with the right people.

“Trump has been so corrosive to the presidency and to his ability to conduct foreign policy and maintain stable relationships both here and abroad, Connolly, a researcher at a non-profit said while explaining why he voted for Biden. “I feel he’s just more level-headed.”


7 a.m.

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have campaigned heavily in Florida, each hoping to win the prized battleground state’s 29 electoral votes. Millions have already voted by mail and in person before Tuesday’s election, setting records for early voting.

Besides the presidential race, 27 congressional seats are at stake in Florida. Neither of the state’s two senate seats are up for election this year.

Florida residents will also get to vote on six state constitutional amendments, including an increase on minimum wage.