By Rokeyta Roberson
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
As the presidential election approached, so did Hurricane Sandy, which touched down on the East Coast on Oct. 29. The hurricane brought heavy winds and surges of seawater to many states along the coast.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” said MSU senior and New Jersey native Bella Galvez. “I couldn’t think of anything but how my home, family, and friends would be affected by the storm.”
Many East Coast natives and residents were not worried about the election, candidates, or issues but mostly about their lives and the state of their hometowns post hurricane.
“Who cares about who the next president will be if you don’t have a place to call home or if your whole state is submerged under water?” asked Morristown, N.J., resident Jacqueline Ford.
Without electricity, many East Coast residents couldn’t vote at their assigned voting polls and had the option of voting by email or at any voting poll in their state. Even with these options, the idea of voting for the next president of the United States did not settle the rattled minds of many East Coast residents.
To ease their minds, President Barack Obama visited New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and residents to reassure them that their country was behind them with efforts to ensure that their state would make a full recovery.
“It was very touching and reassuring when the president came to visit the state,” said 49-year-old Washington Galvez. “It didn’t mean that everything would be perfect and go back to normal, but just knowing that he cared showed me what kind of man, not president, he is.”
Obama cancelled his remaining campaign stops to visit storm victims along the East Coast.
“I didn’t vote for him because he came to visit New Jersey,” said Washington. “I voted for him because a man who puts his re-election goals on hold for his people is a man I want to lead my country. He cares about his people before himself. That is the characteristic of a leader.”
Obama received New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes as well as the electoral votes from most of the East Coast states except for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.