For Smith, who lives with her husband, George, on a working farm in nearby Saybrook, the political tipping point—even more than the job losses and the decay of the area—was a result of her faith and her growing disconnect on cultural issues from the candidates she had previously supported.
“I had looked the other way for far too long, had accepted that I was supposed to be more modern in my views when I wasn’t comfortable with the views my party started to take,” Smith says, making clear that this was a difficult decision to have made and to discuss publicly. “And I took a stand for myself, my beliefs, for life, and for my country.”
She says she also took a stand for her community: “All of this decay has happened under their [the Democrats’] watch.”
The shopping district where Legally Sweet sits is struggling; a Family Dollar store is around the corner, and the majestic Ashtabula County courthouse, where she worked for years, is across the street. Shuttered businesses dot both sides of the street.