Warren Davidson, representative of Ohio's congressional eighth district, paid a visit to Oxford on Wednesday, April 19. Miami's College Republicans organized the town hall event in the community room on the second floor of LCNB Uptown.
College Republicans facilitated the meeting for members of the Oxford community who had wanted to speak with Davidson, said director of communications for the organization, Luke Schroeder. The community room was standing room only with an audience made up of mostly Oxford residents.
"He wasn't very well received," said junior Kyle Chance. "When he answered [questions], there was a lot of yelling back at him."
There were, indeed, several outbursts from the audience: "That's not very Christian of you." "I'd like to send you to Mexico and see how you like it." "I hope we can have dialogue."
"They definitely have a right to be upset, they're allowed to voice their opinions," Chance said. "A town hall is the perfect place to do that. Town halls with just your supporters are campaign rallies."
Davidson opened up the town hall by giving some introductory remarks about his time in Congress. Members of College Republicans then passed out notecards to those sitting in the audience on which they were asked to write their name, questions, where they were from and their contact information. Davidson then spent the rest of his time answering questions from the audience on those notecards.
The note cards with questions not answered by the congressman will be answered by his staff.
"We knew a number of people who requested the meeting wouldn't agree politically, but I thought the people were respectful," Davidson told The Student. "They wanted their questions answered and they weren't always happy with the answer but I think they were happy to get an answer."
Although neighboring cities in Butler County tend to lean right politically, those who are permanent residents of Oxford are more progressive.
"You can look at the demographic data," Davidson said. "This is one of the more Democrat, progressive leaning regions of the eighth district, and I think that showed up in the meeting."
Davidson, who identified himself as a data-driven man several times during his visit, was elected after John Boehner left office in October of 2015.
"I'm pretty new to this," he said. "But I've tried to hit everywhere in the district."
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After his town hall meeting, the congressman spoke to a political science class on U.S.-Iranian relations. Davidson is on the Finance Committee and the Subcommittee for Terrorism and Illicit Finance.
Ohio Senator Bill Coley also visited with College Republicans on Wednesday.
This meeting, in Harrison Hall, was much different from the town hall earlier in the day. There were just over 20 members of College Republicans present at this friendlier meeting. He spoke and then took members out to Buffalo Wild Wings.