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Voice of the Voters: Foreign policy experience leads Troy voter to side with Clinton

TROY – Democrat Paul Kuteesa gave more reasons why he could not vote for Bernie Sanders than he did why he sided with Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s primary.

“This was kind of an odd year because I’m not necessarily an enthusiastic voter in terms of the candidates, but I had to choose one,” he said after casting his vote in the Democratic primary at a city-owned skating rink facility on Troy’s northern end. “And given who the Republicans have put up, I felt as if I really had to vote.”

Kuteesa, 40, a state employee, said he is a lifelong Democrat but that he considers himself more-or-less independent. He said he followed Sanders’ career in the Senate, but the Vermont senator could not close the deal with him.

“I kind of associate with Bernie Sanders more on the social issues. But on foreign policy, I feel that I wanted somebody else more-or-less experienced, and somebody a little more aggressive, which I feel Hillary will be,” he said.

Sanders’ positions on free trade, gun control and failing to say how he’d pay for a free college tuition program were among issues “that pushed me closer to Hillary rather than bring me closer to him.”

He also believes Sanders would face higher walls in getting his agenda through Congress than Clinton, and that Clinton has a better chance in the general election.

“Hillary, for better or worse, is a politician, and she’ll be able to compromise to get things done, and that’s the bottom line for me.”