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Bush, family votes in Crawford

Nov. 3, 2004

By ANGELA K. BROWN, associated press

CRAWFORD -- President George W. Bush dashed out of Crawford soon after voting Tuesday, but festivities were just getting started in his adopted hometown. Several hundred people were expected to gather Tuesday night to watch election returns at the Crawford Community Center, decorated with balloons and a life-size cardboard cutout of Bush, whose ranch is 7 miles from downtown.

Shirley Westerfield said the town, which overwhelmingly supports the president, was energized when he voted there.

"It would be great if he was there tonight, but we're just excited to see the poll numbers," said Westerfield, who organized the election night party.

Associated Press
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush leave after voting at the Crawford Fire Department early Tuesday in Crawford. Their daughters, Jenna, left, and Barbara Bush, look on behind them.
Before dawn, many of the one-stoplight town's 700 residents started gathering at the fire station where Bush would later vote. Janet Graham got there before 6 a.m., hoping to get close enough so Bush would kiss her 8-month-old daughter, Ava, wrapped in pink blankets, or shake hands with her 5-year-old son, Jackson, who held a sign that read "W.: My Hero."

Graham had to stand behind barricades across the street from the building with dozens of other spectators, who at times chanted, "Four more years!" But she said she wasn't too disappointed that her children only got to see Bush wave. "I just wanted them to experience this," she said.

Bush, his wife Laura and twin daughters Barbara and Jenna voted in the small room of the fire station about 7:45 a.m. Everyone there uses paper and pencil ballots, sitting at tables with dividers at the back of the table and on either side of the voter. After voting, Bush made a campaign stop in Ohio before returning to Washington, D.C.

Also Tuesday, the Crawford Peace House hosted a group called Unifried, which tours the country in its "veggie bus," running on recycled vegetable grease from restaurants.

Co-founder Trevitt Schultz, who said his California-based group is nonpartisan, said being in Bush's adopted hometown on Election Day was important. "We created this bus to show there wasn't a need to go to war for oil," Schultz said, adding that any diesel engine can be fueled by vegetable oil. "We can find solutions here at home."