"We tend to avoid arguments," one couple said.
For some Washington caucus participants, the most interesting debates have been at their kitchen tables.
Lynnwood resident Paola Rosario, 26, showed up at Edmonds-Woodway High School on Saturday with a family divided along generational lines. She and her younger brother were waving a Bernie Sanders sign. But her mother and grandmother are die-hard “with her” Hillary supporters.
Rosario said she like Sanders because he wants to take the country in a new direction and talks a lot about reducing students debt, a burden she knows well. She said buying a home seems like a distant dream.
“I’m sick of Wall Street getting away with everything,” Rosario said. “I want someone who’s passionate about change.”
But her mother, Paula Ferreira-Smith, 52, who originally hails from the Dominican Republic, said Hillary Clinton “is an experienced person who’s been flexible enough to teach women we need to achieve our goals in life no matter how much drama we have in our families.”
Sharon Frank says Bernie Sanders is “more practical.” David Frank says Hillary Clinton is “more electable.” The wife and husband went to Eckstein Middle School in Northeast Seattle to caucus.
“It’s unusual, because we’re usually on the same side,” Sharon Frank said. “I will support Hillary, and he’ll obviously support Bernie. If it were Trump it would be [different].”
“We tend to just avoid arguments,” David Frank added.
Ryan Duval-Fowler has long been a Bernie Sanders fan and was surprised when mom Karen Duval cast her vote for Clinton during the 48th District legislative caucus at the Redmond Senior Center.
Duval-Fowler, 20, has been impressed with Sanders because of a platform that has been consistent for many years.
“Her voting record goes against her,” Duval-Fowler said. “She’s more evasive around key issues.” And while Saunders has been a longtime supporter of gay marriage, Clinton has only recently come around to embrace the idea.
On Saturday, Duval-Fowler was elected to be a delegate for Sanders.
And mom Karen Duval was elected to be a delegate for Clinton.
“My heart lives with with Bernie and my head voted for Hillary,” Duval said. “We know Clinton — she’s tough as nails, she can become president on Day 1, we know she can withstand whatever the Republicans throw at her. There’s so much unknown when it comes to Bernie.”
The two said they’ll probably still talk politics in the weeks leading up to the next selection of delegates April 17. And both said they would support whichever Democrat wins the nomination
But something suddenly dawned on each of them.
“April 17,” said Duval-Fowler, “is dad’s birthday.”
At Eckstein, Eileen Pollet, 24, and her 19-year-old brother Henry, children of Rep. Gerry Pollet, said they support opposite candidates. (Eileen for Clinton because of her experience and Henry for Sanders because of his momentum to get young people involved in the democratic process.)
Conversations around the dinner table can sometimes be tense, they said, but what really fuels arguments is how the candidates’ supporters post on social media.
“That’s when we fight is when we talk about comments on the Internet,” Eileen said.
Caucusing at Martin Luther King Elementary, Patty Carlisle, 61, wore a Sanders T-shirt, while her wife, 60-year-old Karen Jensen, indicated support for Clinton with an “I’m with her” button. Both said they understood each other’s point of view and weren’t attempting to convince the other. “My big dream is that both would run on the same ticket,” said Jensen.
— Dan Beekman, Jessica Lee, Katherine Long and Nina Shapiro