Comstock opponents unveil highway billboard calling for traditional town hall
The “Dump Comstock” group -- part of the Take Back the Tenth political action committee -- paid $1,500 for the sign, which will run for one month near 781 Front Royal Pike in Winchester. According to organizers, “Dump Comstock” crowdfunded for the billboard and raised the money in less than 24 hours.
Anti-Comstock voices have been calling for Comstock to hold an in-person town hall for most of 2016.
The second-term congresswoman has held two tele-town halls this year, which her office says has reached nearly 9,000 constituents. Critics, however, say those forums are heavily moderated and don't allow constituents to thoroughly engage with their representative.
Jeff Marschner, Comstock's deputy chief of staff, said the “congresswoman and her legislative and district outreach staff have met with hundreds of constituents in both her district and Capitol Hill offices.”
“At these meetings we hear their concerns on multiple issues, including health care, where constituents have shared intimate details related to their own health care and that of their families,” Marschner said. “The congresswoman also has held telephone town halls connecting with approximately 9,000 constituents this year, and the congresswoman has personally called constituents to have a conversation about the issues important to them.”
The spokesman added that Comstock has attended scores of events with constituents this year, “including diverse cultural events, meetings at businesses with their employees, visits to health care facilities, technology firms, STEM events, human trafficking forums, meeting with our first responders and more.”
Marschner did not directly answer a question asking whether the congresswoman has ever held a traditional town hall since being elected to Congress in 2014.
Chris Monroe, a “Dump Comstock” participant, said he doesn't believe a traditional town hall in the fairly moderate 10th District would be the chaotic scene that has erupted at some GOP members' town halls across the country.
Monroe said many constituents “simply want a chance to meet face-to-face with their representative.” He said he would like to hear Comstock's views on the “Trump agenda,” immigration and health care.
Comstock won her first congressional race in 2014 by 16 percent of the vote over Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust. In last November's race, she defeated real estate developer LuAnn Bennett by six points.
Several Democrats, including state Sen. Jennifer Wexton of Leesburg, are considering running for the 10th District seat in 2018. Fairfax County school teacher Kimberly Adams has already announced plans to launch a campaign.
Comstock is on a congressional delegation trip to the Middle East this week. She was in Egypt Sunday morning during two Islamic State bombings in churches, which killed nearly 50 people.
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