‘Anybody Other Than Trump Would Have Been Nice’: Election Day in Katy

Hillary voters, though fewer in number in the deep-red Houston suburb, were more vocal.

The throngs of Trump supporters anxious to share their thoughts with our reporter.
The throngs of Trump supporters anxious to share their thoughts with our reporter.  Christopher Hooks

KATY — There’s a negative correlation, it seems, between the strength of one’s support for Donald Trump and the willingness to talk to a reporter about it: In the deep-red Houston ’burb of Katy, five consecutive Trump fans declined to give their name and offered only a general idea of why they support him. At Katy High School, I met an Army vet in a big pickup truck who said he fears Clinton’s ability to safeguard service members, and another fellow who hopes President Trump will initiate a wholesale overhaul of the political system.

More open is Steve, a reluctant Trump supporter who gives only his first name. “I’m very disappointed in the tactics and the process,” he said “It’s the Republican Party I support. Anybody other than Trump would have been nice.”

There’s also Lane Holder, an 18-year-old food-service worker voting for Trump in his first presidential election. “I like how he’s not afraid to say what he’s thinking,” he said.“Most politicians don’t even answer questions.” Mainly, he’s glad it’s almost over. “Even if who I voted for doesn’t get it, still gonna be really nice to have an end to it.”

Hillary voters, though fewer in number, were more willing to talk. At the high school I met three generations of the Patel family — a grandmother, husband and wife, and their infant. The Patels are the kinds of voters Democrats hope will one day flip Houston exurbs like Katy, situated at the intersection of Waller, Fort Bend and Harris counties. Ankit, a neurologist, said the election has been grueling to watch. “There’s been a lot of hate,” he said.

Nidhi, his wife, said the family didn’t vote in 2012 and 2014, but this year felt different. “That’s the reason we wanted to vote. The things that have been said, the way he said those things, made us want to come out.”

And there’s Kara Keeling, a recent transplant from New York. A “big Bernie supporter,” she’s voting more against Trump than for Clinton — “she’s all right. “Of Trump, she said, “I’m not a fan. He’s just not somebody that should be president.”

Read the rest of the Observer’s 2016 Election Day coverage here.

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.

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Published at 4:10 pm CST
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