U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson representing the 8th District of Ohio answers questions at a town hall meeting in Enon Tuesday night. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Davidson town hall meeting in Enon contentious, but no walk outs

Congressman Warren Davidson battled back and forth with constituents at a town hall meeting in Enon on Tuesday night, taking questions for about an hour on issues ranging from health care to gun control.

Some residents who filed into an Enon VFW Hall booed many of Davidson’s answers and waved red and green construction paper cards that signalled whether they opposed or approved of his responses, respectively. But there were none of the protests that marked a similar event in Troy last week, when some of Davidson’s opponents were asked to leave the event and walked out.

RELATED: Opponents walk out of testy town hall with local congressman

Tuesday’s town hall was hosted by a local chapter of Indivisible, a group that opposes many of President Donald Trump’s policies.

When one man asked how Davidson could reconcile his Christianity with opposition to gun control, Davidson said his religious beliefs include the right to self-defense.

“I’m not a pacifist,” Davidson said. “I wouldn’t have been an Army Ranger if I were a pacifist.”

About 100 people gathered at the Enon VFW Hall.

Chris Price, who said he’s never voted for a Democrat, said he wanted to hear what Davidson had to say but believed he mostly offered Republican talking points on issues like the conflict in Syria and health care.

“I’ve voted since I was 18 and I will never vote for a Democrat,” Price said. “I’m getting to feel the same way about Republicans now.”

Bill Dean, of Xenia, said he has never attended a town hall before but wanted to support Davidson. He liked Davidson’s answers but believed many of the questions asked were were biased in favor of Democratic policies.

“They’re naturally going to give Democratic talking points,” Dean said.

Many of those who attended Tuesday’s town hall raised concerns about health care, arguing Republican proposals would leave residents in the district without adequate care in the case of a serious illness. Davidson countered the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have repeatedly sought to repeal, is too expensive and acts as a one-size-fits-all policy that can’t resolve a complex issue.

“Our country is too big and diverse,” he said.

Town hall events across the U.S. have drawn protesters and some Republicans have avoided the contentious meetings.

Davidson said he plans to continue to attend events in his district when asked, whether that includes local Rotary Club meetings, business openings or town hall events.

“This is a group that requested a meeting, just like the group in Troy,” Davidson said. “They’ve agreed to open it up to the public and we said we’d love to come and talk with you.”

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