Cheryl Blakey came to the Craig Romney meet-and-greet at the Temple Terrace Victory Office Tuesday evening looking for one thing: inspiration.
“Right now, I need reassurance, hope and renewal,” said Blakey of Temple Terrace. “I’m feeling defeated in a lot of ways.”
Blakey and her husband, Ray, own Tampa Mobile Repair Inc., a semi-trailer repair business near Ybor City. They’ve been self-employed for 26 years, and Cheryl Blakey said they think they’ll have to close their business if President Barack Obama is re-elected.
“I take it as a personal attack on us—what’s been going on,” she said.
Her three daughters are also experiencing hardships under Obama, Blakey said. One daughter works at a doctor’s office and had to take a $4 per hour pay cut. Another graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in environmental science. She’s now working three jobs to make ends meet and none of them have anything to do with what she studied.
“She’s not making anything like she would have in her field,” Blakey said.
She said she hopes Gov. Mitt Romney usurps Obama in the 2012 Presidential Election.
“I do have a very good feeling that Romney will win because I think people are going to vote with their hearts this time,” she said.
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Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti agreed that Romney is a better choice for small business owners.
“We need him,” Affronti said. “How any small business owners would vote the other way, I don’t know.”
Debbie Krutsinger, who co-owns Krutsinger Services Inc. on 56th Street in Tampa, overheard the mayor’s remarks.
“I’m hoping he’ll attract young voters and families,” she said. “He’s got my vote already.”
Krutsinger said her 32-year-old daughter is a teacher.
“She’s definitely voting Mitt Romney, and I’m very proud,” she said.
Exactly two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, Craig Romney, Mitt Romney’s youngest son, spoke to a crowd that packed a small meeting room of the Temple Terrace Victory Office for about 15 minutes. Afterward, he met with supporters and posed for pictures even longer.
During his speech, he talked about how his family encouraged his father to run for president and called the campaign a “privilege.”
“We’re grateful that he made that decision to get back in the race,” the 31-year-old said.
He also talked about his father’s character and shared little-known anecdotes, like the time his father helped find a missing girl.
“He has achieved amazing things in his career, but I think there are even greater achievements that still await him, and they await him in the White House,” Craig Romney said. “With your help, we’re going to make that happen.”
He ended by encouraging supporters to volunteer to knock on doors and make phone calls.
“We need your help,” he said. “Florida is a critical state. We need to win Florida.”
“We can’t afford another four years of President Obama,” he said later. “Let’s get my Dad in office, and let’s get things turned around.”
Krutsinger stuck around after the speech to get a picture with Craig Romney.
“He did great,” she said. “I’m so inspired by every word he said.”
So was Cheryl Blakey. She had been to the Faith and Freedom Rally before the Republican National Convention in August and left with an uplifting feeling. She said Craig Romney’s visit had the same effect.
“This will ride me through the next two weeks,” she said, holding three signs to take home to each of her daughters that read “Women for Mitt.” “I got my recharge.”
Temple Terrace Patch Election Guide 2012