At elegant hotel, economy, social issues


The swimming pool at the Biltmore Hotel Photo by Michael R. Davis

One goes Republican, The other Democratic

Jose Penate, 70,  unloaded white chairs from a cart, carefully placing them outside a ballroom at the elegant Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  He paused occasionally to watch people hurrying into the hotel.  They were going to vote.

For Election 2012, the Biltmore, a  South Florida landmark dating from 1925, was serving as a polling place. Penate, a banquet supervisor at the Biltmore, had figured Election Day 2012 would be busy for him. He worried that he would not have time to vote.  So he cast his vote during Florida’s early voting period.  “I voted Republican – Romney and Ryan,” he said. “My biggest issue is the economy and I don’t see it going anywhere, even if Romney wins. Obama has an agenda of turning everything upside down with his political ideas; and Romney, he’s got some better ideas.”

Penate walked over to one of the tables and straightened the chairs.  Nearby, Anthony Fiore, 36, had been waiting in line to vote with his wife and child. He needed a break. He  stepped away and lit up a cigarette.  “It’s my civic right to vote,” he said, “and if you have a vote, you should vote.”

Fiore, who lives in Coral Gables, said he was an executive at Latele Novela Network, a cable television business in Miami that specializes in telenovelas or Spanish-language soap operas and thrillers.  He said he favored President Obama and was most concerned with social issues.  “The biggest issue,” he said, “is not jobs, not economy; those things come and go.”

For him, he said, the most important social issues were equality and fairness.

 

More like this: Coral Gables | Election - Miami

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