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Hastings Republicans Weigh Options for Tuesday Primary

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – With the Republican presidential primary in New York on Tuesday, local residents like Timothy Hays believe there’s not much excitement left in the race due to a large lead held by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I would say (local voters) are neither excited nor disappointed,” said Hays, who is the Hastings Republicans committee chair.  “There is a general sense that Romney’s nomination is a fait accompli.”

Hays said it would’ve been “healthier” for the Republican Party to have a more competitive primary. He said many voters are burned out and have become “exhausted” from the whole process.

“The campaign is just gearing up but I think already voters would like to get over the campaign fatigue that has resulted in having such a long election cycle,” Hays said. “In England they’re election cycle period is generally about three months. Ours started Jan. 21, 2009.”

The primary ballot will include Romney, U.S. Congress member Ron Paul, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

Some local Republicans seemed to be lukewarm on Romney as a potential presidential candidate.

“I am a Republican and I side with most Republican values but I’m not limited by that,” said Bob Wilt, the vice-chair of the Hastings Republicans. “As a Republican he’s my candidate, but would I prefer someone else? Yes I would.”

With the Republican primary nearly settled before it even reaches New York, Hays said this is nothing new for voters.

“New York is no longer a state in play in the general election,” Hays said.

You can find the closest poll by typing an address into the polling place finder on the Westchester County website. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and unofficial results will be available after 9 p.m.

Regardless of the state of the race, Wilt said he expects a sizeable voter turnout on Tuesday.

“I know there’s a lot of people saying that the turnout’s going to be low, but I think turnout will be relatively high,” Wilt said. “I think some people are on both sides, people are motivated, they want to get out there and they want the numbers to be there.”

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