PHOENIX — Twelve years after campaigning along with her husband for a presidential win to the White House, Arizona republican Cindy McCain endorsed Joe Biden, a Democrat. Watching her words very closely was 58-year-old Paul Felix of Phoenix.
"To me, John McCain was Arizona. I love this state. I would never live anywhere else," said Felix.
Felix allowed us to sit down and have a candid conversation with him about his first election ever voting for a president outside the Republican Party. So much of who Paul is today, he says, is due to his father, Albert, who "was a born leader."
Felix's family has a long history in the state, building an empire in the grocery store industry. His ties to the GOP in Arizona go deep -- his brother clerked for John McCain in Washington D.C.
This election is unlike any other he has ever experienced.
" I have never been so conflicted in an election my whole life," adds Felix. "The day that I did, that I voted, I was at home feeling very anxious and I said to myself, 'what do you think your father would say about this?'"
With his husband at his side, together they watched Cindy McCain make her announcement, endorsing Joe Biden during his mid-October visit to the Valley.
"And I said, 'that's it!' Just like the commercials, now, 'enough is enough,'" he adds.
McCains words and actions were just what this hardcore Republican needed to make him vote blue.
"So I sat down and I took the pencil and...I even turned on some music to relax me!"
Felix believes the Bidens hold the key to keeping democracy alive at a time when so much divisive rhetoric is everywhere.
"They to me seem like honest to good family-valued Americans that I believe the country needs," he added.
Felix says he is isn't alone in what he has been feeling this entire election period. He believes other Republicans, like himself, want to see a White House where true diplomacy and respect exist.
"Right now I feel like I don't have a party, I really don't," he adds.
For Felix, this isn't necessarily a change in party affiliation, instead he sees it as a parenthesis in his always-Republican voting record.
Felix says he will "probably" vote Republican in the future, and, "I refuse to give up...and that's what's important."