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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

After supporter punched at first meeting, second Yoho town hall scheduled

<p>Ted Yoho</p>

Ted Yoho

Gainesville-area residents will soon have a second chance to voice concerns to Rep. Ted Yoho after months of protests.

A town hall meeting will take place Monday at Abraham Lincoln Middle School, located at 1001 SE 12th St., from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. At the first town hall meeting, which took place March 5 at Countryside Baptist Church, hundreds of residents — mostly comprised of Yoho protesters — gathered to voice their concerns with the congressman.

After the meeting ended, a supporter of President Donald Trump was punched in the face and eventually taken to the hospital, according to Alligator archives.

Yoho, a Republican serving North Central Florida’s congressional district, was elected in 2012 and is currently serving his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Alachua, Clay and Bradford counties, as well as parts of Marion County.

Brian Kaveney, a spokesperson for Yoho, said the congressman was pleased with the last meeting.

“He liked it,” Kaveney said. “There were people he probably didn’t agree with, and they didn’t agree with him, but they still had a conversation about what’s important, what needs to happen and what to do going forward.”

Last month, Yoho, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, decided against voting ‘yes’ on the American Health Care Reform Act, otherwise known as Trumpcare.

Even though Yoho was planning on voting against Trumpcare, his office received approximately 3,000 calls from Gainesville’s chapter of Indivisible demanding that the congressman vote against the bill, said Joy Pitts, the chapter’s leader.

Indivisible, a group dedicated to resisting the agenda of Trump’s administration, helped organize the upcoming town hall meeting.

Pitts said although the first meeting was a good way to start an open dialogue with the congressman, the room was filled with tension between Yoho’s supporters and his opponents. That tension ultimately led to someone getting hurt, she said.

“We always tell our members that we’re nonviolent, we don’t want to engage in that sort of situation,” Pitts said. “Unfortunately, we can’t control everyone.”

She said she’s hoping about 600 people make it to the meeting Monday. Last month, approximately 200 Yoho protesters and 20 Yoho supporters attended the town hall.

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“I just want people to come that maybe have never been to a town hall before or have never met the congressman before,” she said. “Indivisible’s role is to get people engaged who maybe have not been involved before. This is a great way to do that.”

Contact Molly Vossler at mvossler@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @molly_vossler 

Ted Yoho

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