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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK
US mid-terms panel: Mary Pendleton

MEET THE PANEL
Name: Mary Pendleton
Age: 40
Lives: Billings, Montana
Works: Stay-at-home mother
Voting intention: Republican

The race for the Senate in Montana has been a really long and hotly-contested one.

The Democrats and their candidate Jon Tester have repeatedly attempted to make Jack Abramoff [the disgraced lobbyist who gave large donations to incumbent Senator Conrad Burns] central to the campaign.

It is a very complicated issue, but I believe Senator Burns when he says he has done no wrong.

Map
He has repeatedly stood up for his beliefs and I know, as a voter, where he stands. That is all that matters to me.

I am not surprised this issue has been raised repeatedly - it's simply been used as a distraction by the Democrats.

It is quite strange, but obviously positive, that there is so much national attention being paid to Montana during this election campaign, as it doesn't usually happen during presidential elections due to the fact that we only have three electoral college votes.

It might be a close race here, as it may be in some other states around the country, but the Republicans will pull through.

I certainly think we will do better than the polls are predicting. The Republican candidates are gaining momentum now as voters are paying more attention to the races in their states.

US MID-TERMS PANEL
The Iraq war has of course been a big issue in this election, as it has affected us all, but I respect President Bush for the stand he has taken and the fact that he doesn't waver for anybody.

Senator Burns has also been clear on the issue of Iraq, saying that we need to support our troops and get the job done.

Of course you'll never be in complete agreement with your elected representatives. As a fiscal conservative, I think that our taxes, the economy and the budget need to be better handled.

But overall I am proud of the president in the way he has handled the challenges he has faced. He gets a high rating from me, as does Senator Burns.

So overall, it has been a lively and spirited mid-terms race, but I will be happy when it's all over and the Republicans retain their majorities.






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