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Opponents walk out of testy town hall with local congressman

Congressman Warren Davidson is talking about health care, Syria and other topics at Troy town hall


Protesters disrupted a town hall meeting with Congressman Warren Davidson, R-Troy, in Troy  Tuesday night. The group eventually was forced to leave the event where the congressman was talking about issues such as health care, Syria and Russia.

The private event was hosted by Miami County Liberty, a conservative group.

Opponents walked out of the event after about an hour when they were told to leave for being disruptive.

The group chanted “we are the people” as they left the event held at the Concord Room.

About 250 people attended the town hall, the majority appearing to be Davidson and GOP supporters. 

Some cheered when a group of vocal protestors were asked to be quiet or leave, but most listened intently as the Congressman answered questions on everything from Russian involvement in the election to environmental policy, education and defense spending. 

Many wore Trump stickers that were handed out at the door. 

Scott Trostel, of Miami County, said he just really wants to hear what his representative has to say because he didn't know much about Davidson when he was running. 

"I think he's got his head on straight," Trostel said after the town hall wrapped up. 

Charlie James, of Greenville, also came to hear what Davidson had to say on the issues, but left with a different take. 

"He's playing by the GOP playbook," said James, who calls himself anti-political party. He felt Davidson was running for re-election rather than actually looking out for the people. 

Davidson spent a fair amount of time explaining his stance on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

"We have to have reform, that at the end of the day... We at least have to know we are going to taken down premiums," Davidson said. He feels the bill has improved since the day It was pulled before a vote. "People will be surprised but, Republicans don't support just abandoning people," he said. 

He repeatedly used the analogy of more expensive cell phone plans being forced on consumers to describe Obamacare, which prompted a shout from one opponent, "cell phones are not health insurance." 

On foreign policy, the former ranger said the country needs new direction and there needs to be a focus on defeating ISIS. 

When asked about the opioid crisis, Davidson said it's a serious problem and one that's being attacked both federally and locally on a bi-partisan basis. He said the border needs to be secured because it will cut off the supply of heroin coming into the country. He also questioned why cities being hit hard by drug use would advertise being sanctuary cities, because it invites drug dealers. 

When asked about whether he supports subsidizing oil companies, Davidson declared himself a fan of the free market. 

"I don't support subsidizing oil companies, I don't support subsidizing solar panels," he said. He doesn't think the government should "play favorites" with any industry. 

He got a large boo from opponents when he declared that he is happy with President Trump's appointment to the head of the EPA. That outburst eventually led to the majority of opponents walking out and chanting outside the venue.

Some protesters attended from the Indivisible Springfield group.

At least two people ad been removed from the room earlier.

“Answer the question about education,” one of them said.

Davidson took questions from the audience, but they had to be written down. Many appear to have been submitted by opponents who are in the audience.

The group hosting the event laid down some ground rules before the event in an effort to keep order. 

Davidson, who replaced former Speaker John Boehner in the 8th District, represents Butler, Miami, Clark, Darke, Preble and part of Mercer counties..

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