Published: 3:34 pm, Mon. Mar. 20th, 2017Updated: 3:33 pm
A standing-room-only crowd of about 500 people showed up Saturday to participate in a Republican congressman’s town hall meeting in southern New Mexico, with some in the crowd interrupting with jeers and chants.
People packed into a room at Las Cruces’ New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum to participate in the discussion with Rep. Steve Pearce, The Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
Pearce, the only Republican member of New Mexico’s congressional delegation, was asked to address a multitude of topics during the 2 1/2 hour meeting. He was often interrupted by people asking for explanations or disagreeing with his comments.
Security officers privately asked some attendees to restrain themselves and escorted several people from the room.
Republicans who want to repeal the Obama administration’s health care reforms are facing pushback at constituent gatherings, even in solidly Republican districts.
Pearce has held town hall meetings in Ruidoso and his home town of Hobbs in recent weeks, but critics have claimed that he is reluctant to meet with his constituents in larger cities like Las Cruces.
“I appreciate Steve Pearce came here and had a town hall,” said Laurie Baish of Las Cruces after Saturday’s event. “But this (is) what I really expected. I still think he was tippy-toeing around all the questions, all the issues he was asked about.”
One of the issues Pearce addressed was President Trump’s plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
“My position is it’s going to buy a peace of mind but won’t enhance security,” Pearce said. “It’s not going to improve security in my opinion. We’ll see where it goes.”
Members of the Truth or Consequences Indivisible group asked Pearce to hold a meeting in Las Cruces when they attended his town hall meeting in Ruidoso. Indivisible is a grassroots organization opposed to Trump, his administration and his policies.
“We feel very fortunate we were able to get him here,” said Sandy Daniel, a member of Truth or Consequences Indivisible chapter. “One of our basic tenants with Indivisible is to have respectful dialogue and opinions from others.”