The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Richmond voters discuss presidential candidates and youth representation

<p>Graphic design Helen Mei.&nbsp;</p>

Graphic design Helen Mei. 

On March 5, voters all over the City of Richmond and Henrico Country turned out to support their chosen candidates in the primary elections.

In this month’s election, there were six Republican candidates to choose from: Chris Christie, Ryan L. Binkley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Donald J. Trump, Ron D. DeSantis, and Nikki R. Haley. The Democratic Party had half the number of candidates, giving voters three options: Marianne Williamson, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and Dean Benson Phillips. 

"I'd really like to see some new faces in politics. I'm tired of constantly voting for the same two older candidates,” said Democrat Nick Courtney said at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Precinct 208.

“I’m a Democrat. But I voted republican today because I wanted to vote against Trump,” said Democrat Matthew Normon, who voted for a member of the Republican Party in hopes of not having Trump as a candidate. 

The Phaup family from Henrico County also voted for Haley in an attempt to prevent Trump from appearing on the ballot. 

“Yes, I will always be a Democrat, but I’m voting for Nikki Haley because I’m trying to not let Trump back in office, " said sophomore Grace Phaup.

Grace’s parents, Emily and Trip Phaup, explained that they both voted for Haley because they opposed Trump's presidency and didn't want to "waste" a Democratic vote if Biden was likely to be the nominee. “I voted for Nikki Haley because I do not want Trump to be president and didn’t want to waste a Democratic vote when it’s going to be Biden,” said Emily. 

"I voted for Nikki Haley to counteract the influence of Trump. My main concern is that the prevailing sentiment is overly "Make America Great Again and conservative," said Trip. 

Some voters are more concerned by the age of some candidates. In response to a question about the essential qualities desired in a candidate, Myna Sharma emphasized the importance of youthfulness and the ability to resonate with the values of their generation and those to come.

"Ideally, I want a younger candidate,” Sharma said. “Someone who can speak to the values of our generation and the generations below us, someone who is not deeply entrenched with corporate interest, and someone who definitely leans more progressive than the majority of folks in the Democratic Party."

Despite some voters’ frustration with the prospect of a repeated Trump-Biden faceoff in November, Biden won 88.69% of votes in Virginia’s Democratic primary election, while Trump won 63.03% of votes in the Republican primary, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Contact writers Leyla Ussery, Emerson De Leon Alvarez, and Charlie Gorby at,, and  

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