Special Election Alert: Healthcare Bill Splits Voters More Than Candidates

Special Election Alert: Healthcare bill splits voters more than candidates

By Ashley Badgley

BOSTON — Vietnamese pharmacy owner Tuan Q. Tran has been in the United States since 1981.

His life in Vietnam lacked freedom and privilege, he said, and he risked his life to reach the United States 29 years ago.

In the window of Tran's pharmacy, Kinny Pharmacy, on Dorchester Ave., a Scott Brown campaign sign hangs prominently.

Tran said he doesn't just support Brown's politics, but believes there should be a Republican representing Massachusetts in the Senate as well as a Democrat. He said he respect's Martha Coakley and her campaign and is happy that he has a right to choose who he thinks would be a more effective leader.

"If there is one party, the power is abused," Tran said. "I think it's about time to have a Republican in the Senate. I love the democratic system and I can get involved, compared to Vietnam. We left Vietnam because we don't like political monopolies. We want checks and balances."

The big factor in Tuesday's election is the healthcare bill, Tran said, and he does not support it.

Coakley supporter Austin Gardner-Smith said he believes in the healthcare bill and what Coakley stands for. He and Tran said the healthcare bill, and not necessarily the candidate, is what it most important.

"I think it's important to get the healthcare bill through," Gardner-Smith said. "It is important."

Like Tran, Gardner-Smith said he respects the opposing candidate and thinks Brown ran a clean campaign.

In terms of who is going to win the election, Gardner-Smith said he doesn't know what is going to happen, but that it "depends on the western part of the state."

"[Brown] has a chance," He said. "But I really don't know."

Ashley Badgley is a reporter for Watchdog.org.