Sen. Flake stays cool at fiery town hall in Mesa

Sen. Jeff Flake's town hall got heated over topics of health care and President Trump, among others.

MESA, Ariz. -  A rowdy crowd of hundreds turned out to a town hall hosted by Sen. Jeff Flake at the Mesa Convention Center Thursday night.

The largely liberal crowd shared its disagreement with Flake on several issues, focusing mostly on health care. Attendees chanted and yelled as others questioned Flake about the Affordable Care Act and women's health.

 

Flake kept a smile on his face for the beginning of the event until a questioner wondered what he was smiling about. From that point forth, he adopted a more reserved look, staying calm while attendees heatedly expressed their displeasure with him. The event was scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m. and is still ongoing.

 

Those in attendance also chanted and questioned Flake about his fellow Republican President Donald Trump's planned border wall with Mexico.

 

At least one questioner grilled Flake about his bill overturning FCC internet privacy rules that was recently approved by the House.

Another hot topic was Flake's support for the school voucher bill that sets public money aside for parents who want their children to go to private school. Detractors, like those who showed up Thursday night, say the money goes to rich families who can pay the difference between the voucher and tuition, and takes money away from the public schools attended by the middle and lower class.

Flake maintained his support for the bill is about giving parents options.

This was Flake's first in-person event of the year and those in attendance were asked to follow several rules in order to be permitted inside the venue. No banners, posters or objects that could created a disturbance were permitted inside, but that didn't keep the attendees from expressing themselves.

The venue can hold 1,750 people and hundreds showed up. People began lining up outside the venue around 3 p.m., which was four hours before the doors to the venue opened.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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