On Oct. 15, hundreds gathered to hear independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. when he spoke at the Crowne Plaza in West Asheville. The crowd, many of whom were from out of town, cheered for his anti-corporation, anti-war message.
“Finally, there is a candidate that represents us,” said James Malcant, 41-year-old resident of Hendersonville. Malcant, who said he typically votes for Republican candidates, liked Kennedy’s transparency and openness.
“I voted for Trump in the last election, but I feel like he has become too much of an icon and he causes too much drama,” Malcant said. “I want a president that is actually going to get work done, not just argue on Twitter.”
North Asheville resident, Susie Ferguson, 61, said she has been a lifelong Democrat, but did not feel the current administration best represents her views. She wanted to see more of an emphasis on environmental protection.
“I feel like [Kennedy] is the only candidate that actually cares about the world around us. Biden said that he cared about the environment, but then he started drilling in Alaska,” Ferguson said, referring to Biden’s support of the Willow project, a $7 billion oil and gas drilling project that was approved in March. “If we don’t start caring for the environment, nothing else is going to matter.”
Some attendees, like Kacie Montford from West Asheville, 29, did not have their minds made up regarding the upcoming presidential election.
“I don’t feel like either party is going to put forward a good candidate for president, so I wanted to come to this rally to see if [Kennedy] is a good option. I can safely say, I like him better than both Trump and Biden,” Montford said.