Barry County sheriff candidates support Trump
Davis, Ruark both say divisiveness in country unlike any other election season
Both saying they are unable to support Hillary Clinton, Barry County sheriff candidates Gary Davis, R-Cassville, and Justin "Dave" Ruark, D-Cassville, say they will vote for Republican Donald Trump in the November presidential election.
Ruark said concerning the race, Trump is the lesser of two evils.
"I cannot support [Democrat] Hillary [Clinton] in any way, shape or fashion," he said. "No good can come out of any office she holds. She's a bad seed and will poison any office she is involved in. I don't like her opinion on gun control, and I cannot support her ethics."
Davis said he will not tell people how to vote, and his presence on the Republican ticket should be sufficient to show which presidential box he will tick.
"I will vote for Trump because I don't like Hillary Clinton," he said. "I may lose some Democrats' votes, but I tell all the Democrats in my family the same thing, and they tell me they don't like Trump.
"I don't agree with all that Trump says, but if he enforces the immigration laws we have on the books now, I think there would be a lot less problems."
Concerning the state races, Davis and Ruark each said they have been too busy campaigning to fully research and make decisions for the governor and senate spots.
"I'm just now looking at the state races, and I think I know how I'm going to go but haven't fully decided," Davis said. "I will make up my mind after I do my own research. That's the way I approach most things. I'll go through the ads on TV, even though most of them are slanted. I usually vote Republican, but in the end, I will vote for the person I believe is most qualified and will do what I like the best."
Ruark said he also needs to study the state races more before deciding who he will support.
"I have some more time before the election to gather information on who I think is the best," he said. "I usually go with whoever I think is best fit for the office, [regardless of party]."
Both candidates said no matter who wins, this election season has been the most divisive of their lifetimes.
"The overall climate is not what it used to be," Ruark said. "The government has taken a turn for the worst compared to years ago when people trusted the government more. No one trusts the government now, and that's a scary thought."
Ruark said he is also worried about how decisions in Washington, D.C., may affect the lives of local residents.
"Politicians a lot of times tell people what they want to hear to secure the vote, and it's hard to trust the honesty of a person when you already have doubts. I just hope the ones running for office don't hurt the local areas, but I fear stuff going on in Washington could have a big effect here."
Ruark specifically pointed to gun reform if Clinton is elected.
"If Hillary wins, she will try to make it more difficult for citizens to defend themselves," he said. "Every American has the right to keep firearms and don't need to be told what they can and can't own."
Davis said the nation is more divided than he has seen in his lifetime.
"I lived through the Civil Rights era and Vietnam, when there were lots of demonstrations in the streets," he said. "Some got violent, but it wasn't anything like the animosity for the other side we see today. Back then, it was mostly young people against the war. But now, we are divide on so many issues, from restrooms to religion to the wall at the border.
"I don't know what has caused this, and I hope there are people running smarter than me we can elect to fix it. We can't keep going the way we are with out national debt, or we'll end up like Greece. And, Congress' approval rating is so low because they won't do anything to fix it. They want one big bill that will turn everything from black and white to color, and that is not going to happen."
Davis said the biggest issue at stake is the Supreme Court, for which the next president will have at least one judge nomination to make.
"From a national standpoint, the biggest thing that will affect us is whoever the next president is will have to nominate one Supreme Court justice, and with the health and ages of other justices, could appoint two or three more," Davis said. "That could alter the makeup of the court for two generations.
Davis said as far as voting, he thinks people vote too much based on single issues, rather than looking at the bigger picture.
"People make a lot of decisions based on just one issue instead of looking at the totality of all issues," he said. "No two people will ever agree on everything. The one opinion I always voice is, go vote. If you don't vote, you don't have the right to gripe."