TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Capitol News Service) -- As Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States, it is in part because of voters like a local woman who owns a small diner just miles west of the state Capitol.
Pam Buchanan is the chief cook and bottle washer at Kendall’s Kitchen, the restaurant she inherited from her grandmother 8 years ago.
Pam is 56. She was born the year John F. Kennedy was elected. She was eligible to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980, but didn't.
“I wasn’t interested. I never got interested in politics, until now," Pam says.
Until this past November, Pam had never voted for anyone, missing nine straight presidential elections. Then Donald Trump caught her attention.
“He seemed like and honest man, he’s got a backbone," she says.
If anything, a sign sums up Pam Buchanan's personality and outlook on life. It states "Children, tired of being harassed by your stupid parents? Act Now! Move out, get-a-job, pay your own bills while you still know everything."
In other words, stand on your own two feet, pull your own weight, and make something of yourself.
“Things need to turn around. You know, you need to work for what you got instead of having it handed to you," she says. "I’ve never had anything handed to me in my life."
Most customers are regulars who come for the set daily lunch specials. But not Bo Lawrence, who also voted for Trump. He came to meet Pam 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, an engineer, says.
And so, for someone who never voted before. Pam Buchanan feels pretty good about her vote. But if it's more of the same in her eyes, what is she going to do?
"Kick myself in the butt," she says.
Before inheriting the restaurant, Pam worked part and full time for her grandmother for more than a dozen years.