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Seeing both sides of the political spectrum

When it comes to politics, Downey High School senior Kevin Sutherland describes himself as "moderate but kind of conservative."

With parents whose views are on both sides of the political spectrum, Kevin has had the opportunity to look at issues from both the Democratic and Republican positions. This, he said, has helped him form his own political views.

Kevin will turn 18 before Nov. 4, and is concerned about several political issues. While things like the war in Iraq and health care are important to him, Kevin said his primary concern is the state of the economy.

"I'd like the economy not to suck when I get out of college," he said.

Kevin's belief that a conservative economic policy is effective has been one of the factors that led him to favor Republican candidate John McCain. Kevin made it clear, however, that this is not the only reason the Arizona senator has his vote.

"I don't hinge my political affiliation on one particular issue," he said. "There are some things I agree with McCain on, such as his economic policy, and some things I disagree with him on, such as his immigration policy."

While politics is important to Kevin, he said his life doesn't revolve around the election.

"I think it's important to be politically aware and to make educated decisions," he said. "At the same time, though, you have to realize that you're life isn't going to end if your candidate doesn't get into office."