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Rep. Chris Stewart To Hold Town Hall On Friendlier Turf

Julia Ritchey, KUER
Congressman Stewart answers questions during a rowdy town hall on March 31 in Salt Lake. Stewart will likely face a warmer reception in Central Utah, where he was re-elected overwhelmingly last November.

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart is holding a town hall tonight at Richfield High School in Sevier County.

This will be Stewart’s second in-person town hall this year. He also held a tele-town hall from Washington in early March.

He’s likely to get a much warmer reception from Central Utah residents than from those who attended his Salt Lake town hall on March 31. At that event, Stewart was booed and jeered as he answered pointed questions on health care, public lands and investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

Sevier County residents overwhelmingly re-elected Stewart last year with 85 percent of the vote. President Trump also did well here, earning 77 percent.  

Stewart is one of just a couple dozen lawmakers holding public forums during Congressional recess this week. Many Republicans have skipped larger public events to avoid confrontation with Democratic voters and other critics who have used these events to express anger and put their representatives on the spot.

The forum caps off a busy week for the second-term Congressman. He also met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during his visit to Kanab and attended a roundtable on opioids with Salt Lake County officials. 

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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