Walden holds town halls in Jackson, Josephine counties

Medford, Ore. — Congressman Greg Walden made his way to southern Oregon Friday, following some tense town halls around the state. The tour is part of his campaign promise to hold town halls in every county of his district every year. This year’s trek may prove his most contentious, with strong opinions from his constituents.

“Often he didn’t answer the question,” Renate Hogan says.

“They didn’t give the congressman a chance to finish his questions,” Jim Herndon says.

It was standing room only at North Medford High School, as Congressman Greg Walden hosted his final town halls this month.

A spirited crowd cheered when Walden talked about supporting the military, protecting the second amendment, and ensuring people with pre-existing conditions won’t lose health coverage.

“I’m fully in support of making sure we never go back to the days where people with preexisting conditions got denied access to affordable health insurance period,” Congressman Greg Walden said to the crowd.

When it came to matters of President Donald Trump though, many of his answers, didn’t satisfy the crowd.

“I think he would have been better served to do it,” Congressmen Walden said in response to a question about the president releasing his taxes, “but in America you have privacy over your tax records.”

“I was a little frustrated that he seems to definitely support Trump and didn’t want to answer any questions regarding not supporting Trump,” Roberta Kaiser told NBC5 News.

“He’s being honest and straightforward with ’em,” veteran Jim Herndon says, “Some people just don’t want to hear that they want to hear their answer, and I’m sorry, it’s not always gonna be that way.”

In Grants Pass, healthcare continued to dominate the conversation.

“So many people get services here because Planned Parenthood is there for them when they don’t know where to go,” one attendant said.

And while both town hall crowds expressed a variety of opinions, many agreed the congressman’s visit was appreciated.

“I thought it was great that he finally came,” Hogan said.

“I admire him for what he’s doing when he’s got seemingly well it’s not overwhelming opposition but he’s got pretty strong opposition going,” Malcolm Drake says.

“Maybe I didn’t agree with some of the things he said,” Herndon adds, “but that’s what we as veterans fought for to give each and every person the right to disagree.”

Tuesday, Representative Peter DeFazio is hosting three town halls in southern Oregon. The first is at Gold Beach High School at 9 a.m. Then he’ll head to Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction. He’ll end the day at Grants Pass High School.

Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News at 6 with NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.

She comes to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine.

When Kristin is not sharing the news she's hunting down the best burrito, hiking a local trail or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She's also a Green Bay Packers shareholder! If you see her out and about she'd be happy to tell you how a California girl became a Cheesehead.

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