Democrats in Washington state & Alaska made their choice for the party's candidate for president Saturday. Hawaii Democrats started their nominating process after in the day.
Voters supporting either Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said significant issues to decide on include war, the ability to compromise & honesty.
Here's a look at what some of them had to say:
Preston Anderson works at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle. Before taking that job, he was deployed to Iraq for 11 months as a sergeant in the Army.
He went to a Seattle high school to caucus for Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton & other hawkish politicians rushed into the war in Iraq, Anderson said. Sanders wants fewer wars, & that appeals to Anderson.
Lorann Gifford, standing, tries to convince undecided voter Romana Marshall to vote for Hillary Clin …
"It's no light decision to send troops into harm's way, so it unquestionably has to be a more measured response." the 36-year-old Anderson said.
Dixie Hood, 82, of Juneau, Alaska, says her decision to support Clinton was a clear choice.
"Her experience & her pragmatism just totally outshine Bernie's dreams," she said, decked out in a blue Clinton T-shirt on the floor of a convention center where local caucuses were being held Saturday.
Both have similar goals, she said, yet Hood doesn't see in Sanders a willingness to compromise. Sanders has made the race exciting, though, she said.
Bernie Sanders supporters raise their hands during a tally at a caucus for Washington Democrats in O …
Hood, a marriage & family therapist, said she's been an active Democrat her entire life. If Clinton wins the nomination, it would be meaningful if Sanders received behind her, Hood said.
This election has been full of firsts for Kirsa Hughes-Skandijs, who caucused for Sanders in Juneau, Alaska.
The 38-year-old state worker said she had never donated to or gone canvassing for a candidate before Sanders. Saturday was her first caucus.
"This is the first time I've ever felt that kind of belief in a candidate, that they mean what they say & that they are not saying what they think people want to hear," said Hughes-Skandijs, who moreover sported a Sanders' T-shirt.
A caucus volunteer counts hands of Bernie Sanders supporters during a tally at a caucus for Washingt …
She moreover believes Sanders would be more "mud-proof" than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. If Sanders isn't the party nominee, she said, she'll likely vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Some of the Republican candidates are "so ridiculous, I kind of have a complex time believing that whoever gets put up against them isn't going to win," Hughes-Skandijs said.
District 15 Chair Hal Gazaway, center, conducts a recount of votes at the Democratic party caucus in …
Dennis McCarville, 63, was taking part in his first-ever caucus. He moved in 2012 to Anchorage, Alaska, from Omaha, Nebraska, where he only took part in primary votes.
"This is my first caucus, so I don't know what to expect," he said in the hallway at Anchorage West High School, where all caucus events were held for Democrats in Alaska's largest city.
Attendees in a precinct group listen as a speaker voices support for Democratic presidential candida …
McCarville supports Hillary Clinton, saying she has the experience to be president.
"I believe in what her social policies are, as well as her foreign policy," McCarville said. "She has the qualifications we need to have as president."
But McCarville, who runs a treatment center for children, said he could support Sanders if he winds up being the party's nominee.
"Oh yeah, they're not that far off," he said. "I just think Hillary has received more experience in leadership."
Shannon McDermott, 25, of Anchorage, said she supports Sanders because "he is all for Native sovereignty."
"I support Bernie Sanders because he is meeting with tribes all across the United States," said McDermott, an Inupiat Eskimo. "All the issues, he wants to hear from the community before he even makes a decision."
The certified nursing assistant at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage said she feels this is the first time a candidate is recognizing tribal issues from the start. She felt like President Obama, who became the first sitting president to travel north of the Arctic Circle when he met Alaska Natives in Kotzebue, Alaska, last August, only turned his attention to Alaska Natives late in his second term.
"It's just refreshing to see somebody do that from the get-go," she said.
She was moreover impressed that Sanders' wife, Jane, spent three days campaigning in Alaska this week.
"It's really tremendous to see his wife come up & speak to us," she said. "Because nobody comes to Alaska. It's pretty great."
ElectionsPolitics & GovernmentHillary ClintonBernie SandersAlaska
Source: “Associated Press”