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Some light turnout as Ohio polls open for primary

By Lisa Cornwell

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 6 2012 5:20 p.m. MST

A voter casts his ballot for the Republican presidential primary, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Steubenville, Ohio.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

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Ohio Republicans voting in the GOP presidential primary on Super Tuesday appeared split on which candidate could best represent their interests and those of the country at large, while others seemed less than enthusiastic about their choices in the closely watched race.

Don Ryan, 71, voted in Anderson Township in suburban Cincinnati. Ryan, who is retired, said he voted for Mitt Romney because he thinks he has the best chance to beat President Barack Obama.

"He has less baggage than the others and more money to help him against Obama," Ryan said.

He said he would have liked to have seen other GOP candidates and that he is not sure Romney is really conservative, but he wants a nominee.

"I was ready for it to be over in November," he said.

No Republican nominee has reached the White House without carrying the swing state. Obama carried the state in 2008, after Ohio went for George W. Bush in 2004.

Mike Reardon, 45, an aircraft mechanic voting in suburban North Royalton in Cleveland, said he voted for Rick Santorum despite concerns about whether Santorum can beat Obama. "Me, I want to get Obama out of there," said Reardon, who believes Obama has a socialist agenda.

Josh Brooks of Columbus said he had considered voting for Romney, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won him over with his energy plan.

Nancy Beck Doak, a 52-year-old aquatics instructor voting in suburban Cincinnati, said she voted on a school issue but ignored the presidential race.

"I don't care for any of them, Republicans or Democrats," she said.

Voters have other choices to make in the primary. Those include an unusual match of two Democratic U.S. House members pushed together under congressional redistricting and a contested primary for the Republican nominee to oppose Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Two judges are competing on the Democratic side to challenge an Ohio Supreme Court justice and there are 14 Democratic and 18 Republican primaries for state House seats and three Republican primaries for state Senate seats. About 100 local school issues were on ballots across the state.

A few problems were reported at polls Tuesday, but officials say there were no major voting disruptions.

Some Ohio voters who described themselves as independent weren't impressed with anyone in the Republican field.

"It's going to make me vote Democratic," said Chuck Horning, a 47-year-old accountant and one of the earliest voters at a polling site in the Cincinnati suburb of Anderson Township, a heavily Republican area.

He said he was so disappointed that he voted only on local issues, not in the presidential primary.

"It is a painful process this year," he said. "I don't like the way the Republicans have gone after each other, and the Democrats aren't any better."

Robert Reed, 76, a retired utility worker, said he voted for Santorum, but doesn't care for him much as a candidate and wasn't impressed with the other candidates.

"Romney is too rich, Santorum is too religious, Ron Paul is too old, and I just don't like Gingrich," he said

Reed said he wanted to exercise his right to vote, but expects to vote for Obama in November.

Associated Press writers Ann Sanner in Westerville, Kantele Franko and Dan Sewell in Columbus, and Thomas J. Sheeran in Strongsville and North Royalton contributed to this report.

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