Sam Boyd has been a Democrat his entire adult life, just like many here in this mostly rural, economically impoverished southwestern corner of the state, where the party’s roots run as deep as the coal underfoot. But in Tuesday’s closely watched special election to succeed the late Representative John P. Murtha in the state’s 12th Congressional District, Mr. Boyd, 65, is leaning toward casting his vote for the Republican candidate. . . . “I’m for Burns for the reason I was for Obama,” said Mr. Boyd, a retired general contractor who served as an unpaid campaign liaison for Mr. Murtha in his county. “I want change.” Mr. Boyd’s path to discontent since then traces the bumpy legislative path in Washington, from the auto bailouts to the stimulus plan to the passage of the health care overhaul. Mr. Boyd, who first joined his local Young Democrats club as a 14-year-old, says he now regrets voting for Mr. Obama, even though he hastened to add that he still found the president personally appealing. “I just think I bought the sizzle, not the steak,” he said. . . . “I just think we need a better balance of power in Washington,” Jim Stephenson, 62, a retired electrician, said at the Airport Restaurant here, where both he and Mr. Boyd often spend their mornings.
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