A raucous mix of more than 200 Trump supporters and opponents crowded into a town hall meeting with Republican 8th district Congressman Warren Davidson Tuesday night in Troy. The event was hosted by Tea Party organization Miami County Liberty.
Davidson is a member of the conservative and libertarian House Freedom Caucus and was elected to fill the seat of Former House Speaker John Boehner last year.
The event was one of many similar town halls planned around the country Tuesday as Congress begins a two-week recess this week.
Davidson took only written questions submitted by the audience in advance. He spoke at length about a range of issues, including tax reform, Syria, gun control, Russia and health-care reform.
Davidson has supported repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but did not support the recent Republican repeal-and-replace bill, which was pulled from consideration in March. The Congressman told the crowd why he opposed the failed GOP plan.
“The concern that I think everyone had was, wait a minute, the first three years' premiums go up, even worse than Obamacare? That’s a problem," he said.
Congressional lawmakers continue to consider changes to the federal health law.
The town-hall audience included both GOP voters and members of the left-leaning coalition Indivisible, which has several chapters in and around the Dayton area.
The event grew heated after some audience members expressed frustration with Davidson’s statements and policies. Some in the crowd jeered.
And a group of about two dozen people walked out of the town hall in protest. Several other people were asked to leave.
The group assembled outside the venue and chanted their disapproval with Davidson's views, and the town hall organizers' handling of questions.
Michaela Little, from the group Indivisible OH8 in Butler County, says many people in the Miami Valley are concerned about a wide range of issues including health care, immigration, the economy and tax reform.
“I think the idea is that we want to feel like he understands where we are coming from and has some respect for that, and will look at that when he makes decisions in Congress,” she says.
Davidson expressed surprise at the contentious tone of the town hall.
“Most everybody from around here [is] pretty civil, so this is pretty uncharacteristic for Ohio,” said Davidson. “So, when I’ve talked to people back in DC, people talking about town halls, people are asking what it has been like ... until tonight I hadn’t experienced what a lot of folks had. It’s mostly civil.”
Indivisible and other activist groups have been calling on Miami Valley lawmakers, including 10th District Republican Congressman Mike Turner, to hold similar town hall events this spring.