TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th president of the United States, it is in part because of voters like a woman restaurant owner who owns a small diner just miles west of the state Capitol.
Pam Buchanan, 56, is the chief cook and bottle washer at Kendal’s Kitchen, the restaurant she inherited from her grandmother eight years ago.
Buchanan was born the year John F. Kennedy was elected. She was eligible to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980, but she didn’t.
“I wasn’t interested," she said. "I never got interested in politics, until now.”
Until this past November, Buchanan had never voted for anyone, missing nine straight presidential elections. Then Trump caught her attention.
“He seemed like and honest man," she said. "He’s got a backbone."
If anything, this sign sums up Buchanan's personality and outlook on life.
“Things need to turn around," Buchanan said. "You know, you need too work for what you got instead of having it handed to you. I’ve never had anything handed to me in my life.”
Most customers at her restaurant are regulars who show up for the set daily lunch specials. But not Bo Lawrence, who’s also Trump voter. He went to meet Buchanan after hearing her story of being a first-time voter.
"I’ve talked to people who I work with who are regulars here and know her, and I heard a lot of good stuff about the restaurant,” Lawrence said.
For someone who never voted before, Buchanan said she feels pretty good about her vote.
"If he’s more of the same, how are you going to feel?" Buchanan was asked.
"Kick myself in the butt," she replied.
Before inheriting the restaurant, Buchanan worked part- and full-time for her grandmother for more than a dozen years.