Tensions Rise Among Critics, Supporters At Byrne Town Hall

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A crowd formed outside Rep. Bradley Byrne’s town hall meeting Monday evening, waiting for the possibility to speak to the congressman. While doors had opened at 5:00 p.m., officials had to stop accepting people in within minutes as the meeting quickly reached its maximum capacity.

Constituents had formed long lines earlier in the afternoon, some prepared with signs with clear messages to send to Byrne. The meeting — held at the Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center on Dauphin Street — is their chance to share their ideas and concerns directly with Byrne.

Inside, around 250 critics and supporters packed the room with tension. Questions — and general frustrations — began firing off at 5:30 p.m. on topics ranging from healthcare to the federal immigration ban.

At times, some members of the crowd redirected frustrations from Byrne to other participants.

Byrne said this town hall presented a much different energy than those of his past 76, but it’s all in the job of a congressman.

“You have to be willing to listen to people you represent, that disagree with you,” Byrne said. “I do enjoy them because I think the people tonight were there with the best spirits.

“We had a good faith interchange.”

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