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UM student considered Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, but ultimately chose Donald Trump

Gage Skidmore

On Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as our 45th president of the United States.  The election was one of the most contentious in recent memory and has exposed or inflamed serious divisions in American society. All this week on Stateside, we’ll speak with Michiganders who were drawn to the President-elect’s message about their hopes for the new administration.

Jules Pastorino is a 19-year-old woman and a University of Michigan student. If she were to sit down with President-elect Donald Trump, she would urge him to reign in the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency (NSA), tell him that climate change is “not a conspiracy” and ask him to consider the importance of abortion rights.

Those are concerns that Pastorino shares with many Hillary Clinton voters. But in 2016, her first election, Pastorino voted for Donald Trump.

Pastorino does not consider herself to be a Republican and Donald Trump was not her first choice for President; she was “very interested” in Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose views aligned with hers on privacy and gun rights.

She would have considered voting for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who she thought was “genuine.” Still, as soon as Clinton became the Democratic nominee and Trump became the Republican, Pastorino said her vote was locked in.

Gun rights is a hot-button issue for Pastorino, and a big reason she voted for the President-elect. For her family and neighbors in rural Michigan, having a gun is not about violence. Instead, gun ownership means affordable, protein-rich meals when grocery stores are far away or personal protection when police response time is too long.

Hear more of our interview with Jules Pastorino, including why she hopes Trump will change his "ridiculous and embarrassing" tweets, above.

CORRECTION: Cynthia Canty misspoke when she said "automatic weapons," which are already outlawed. We meant to say "assault rifles." We regret the error. 

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