Hometown Voices: ABC11 listening tour stops in Johnston County ahead of March 3rd NC primary

JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- ABC11 is launching Hometown Voices, a listening tour to find out what our viewers are thinking as we prepare for the 2020 election and the North Carolina primary on March 3.

The first stop for our month-long series of reports is Johnston County and the Rockin' Comet Shiny Diner on Highway 70.

We found great home cooking with a side order of politics and opinion.

"Our food represents that time past, it's you know, meatloaf and pork chops," Shiny Diner co-owner Ben Merrill said.

Shelby Chevis and Holly Hardee like to meet at the diner for lunch and conversation.

Chevis shared her view of the political climate in the country.

"I feel like there's a lot of fear. I feel like people are well informed, but we all are kind of insulating into our own small groups," said Chevis, a Clayton resident.

"If we start listening to opinions other than our own, respect opinions other than our own, I think that it definitely could be something that could bring us together."

Betty and Ayden Lee are longtime Johnston County residents who are watching their area change dramatically, with new neighborhoods and new people arriving from across the country.

"I've learned to accept and listen to a lot of the new folks that are coming in from all states, from everywhere, and your opinions change sometimes from one year to the next," said Betty Lee. ""I'm very open minded, but I still have my own opinions, even though I listen to the opinions of people that I meet."

Her husband acknowledges that his vote is hard to get.

"I'm a 'tweener,' somewhere in between, a moderate, so nobody likes me," Ayden Lee said.

Tina and Ron Davis are among the newer arrivals.

They moved to Johnston County from Pennsylvania.

"Right now, I'm satisfied," said Tina Davis about her view of Washington politics.

Her husband agreed.

"I believe that we're doing good right now, why change things? It'll get worse," Ron Davis said.

Adelaide Page is an ardent supporter of President Trump who is upset with Democrats in Congress.

"They have never given him a fair shake," Page said. "He has still accomplished more than any other president in my lifetime, probably ever."

Around the Shiny Diner we found Trump supporters, undecided voters, voters who want change in Washington, and an optimistic view from Shelby Chevis.

"The only way we can effect change is to be the change we want to see," said Chevis. "We can't rely on politicians, we can't rely on our friends, we can't rely on other people. You just have to start doing what you feel is best and teach your children."
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