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On a cloudy morning in Stafford, Va., CNN spoke to a number of GOP voters at the Courthouse Community Center, located in Virginia’s 7th congressional district – a district currently represented by Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger, but where the GOP aims to build on its gains in the November race for the Democratic-held US House seat.

The main concerns of those Republican voters on Tuesday were inflation, immigration and education.

Jennie Austin, a 62-year-old voter who was undecided before heading to the polls on Tuesday, said she noticed grocery store prices rising when mushroom soup became $2 a can. She said road improvements and gasoline prices were also areas of concern.

Austin, who was a Democrat until former President Barrack Obama’s second term and voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020 and 2016, denounced the current “bashing” in politics.

Cisco Cividanes, a 77-year-old retired sailor who worked for the state, said that if he used to spend $275 a week on food, he now spends $290.

“What they do in Washington affects us here in Northern Virginia,” he said.

“At the moment, things are not going very well. So many families are struggling,” said Linda Robertson, a 74-year-old retired school bus driver who drove students of all ages for 30 years in Stafford.

She cited rising gasoline prices as a problem. As a widow, Robertson said, “it’s hard to be alone.”

She also cited immigration as a major concern and said Trump, whom she voted for in 2020 and 2016, “wasn’t a politician” but rather “a businessman” and “did business.” good work”.

“I’ve lost my mind because I’m fed up with what’s going on,” said Juliet Schweiter, a substitute teacher and mother of three teenagers. Schweiter, a Stafford County voter, volunteered for Crystal Vanuch’s campaign for Congress at the polls on Tuesday and is listed as someone who endorsed Vanuch on Vanuch’s campaign website.

Vanuch is the current Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Trustees and a Republican candidate for the United States House seat.

“I’ve made it my personal job of being in politics,” Schweiter said, adding that she speaks to her community and friends about politics and the importance of voting. Schweiter rallied around Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin last November and told her neighbors about him, she said.

She cited the border, Critical Race Theory (CRT), Second Amendment rights and inflation as key areas of concern and said the current administration is “raising its hand and saying ‘I don’t know what. TO DO “”.

“I’ve always voted on questions,” Schweiter said. “The Democratic Party has lost its mind.”

Edward O’Brien, a 59-year-old Republican voter, said he was “disgusted by the whole list of issues” and listed “the border”, “limits on fossil fuel production” and “forced production of electric vehicles” as his most pressing concern.

“People don’t want a rapid transition to electric vehicles,” he said.

Similarly, Michelle West, a 59-year-old Republican voter who voted for Trump in 2020 and 2016, said education, the border and inflation were also the top three issues that mattered most to her. She said she wanted to see “more parent involvement” in schools and thinks “the CRT needs to go.”

Anthony Johnson, a Democratic voter CNN spoke to on Tuesday in Stafford, said “voter rights,” “gender equality” and “human rights” are of the utmost importance.

“It is a right, a privilege and an honor to vote,” the 56-year-old Democrat said.

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