On the fence: A small business owner from Virginia

A campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the ground on Oct. 26, 2012 in Ames, Iowa.

Brett Fry, owner of Tobaccology in Manassas, Virginia.

Brett Fry is 31 years old, a veteran of the Iraq war and a registered Republican. He is also the owner and sole employee of Tobaccology, a cigar shop in Manassas, Virginia, just an hour or so south of Washington, D.C. He works 85 hours a week.

As a voter, Brett is concerned by entitlements and worries that Obamacare will force him to provide health care he can't afford once he starts adding employees. But one reason Brett hasn't decided who to vote for is his concern over good stewardship of the armed forces.

"Being a former soldier who served, I worry that any of our soldiers are put in harm's way, i.e. a war," says Fry.

Fry is also worried about issues like entitlement reform.

"It's all too easy to take the road of unemployment and/or handouts," says Fry, though he admits having received unemployment benefits himself briefly between his 11 years in the military and the opening of his business. And, yes,  he sees the irony in that.

"I'm not saying that we need to eliminate it completely. I just think there needs to be some form of balance."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.

Brett Fry, owner of Tobaccology in Manassas, Virginia.


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