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Yoho town hall: People behaved well

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Column by Jim Clark

Sometimes you go to cover an event not knowing what to expect. That was me just a couple of weeks ago.

One of our Congressmen, Republican Ted Yoho, was holding a town hall meeting at North Marion Middle School. Many GOP representatives have run into major protests across the country, so I was ready for a big afternoon.

It didn’t happen.

Except for a couple of people in the audience who felt they had to interject loud comments over other people, the crowd was a bit tame.

Four deputies were standing outside as I came up about a half-hour early, politely said hello and, after my request, directed me to the proper door (the Yoho staff evidently doesn’t believe in signs).

They later came in and stood around, and only once did they go down toward the speakers, when there was a moment when the few rabble rousers wouldn’t give up, but nothing materialized.

It was a proud moment for Marion County.

The weekend wasn’t completely smooth for Yoho. On that Monday, his staff had scheduled a town hall for Gainesville in the evening. The problem? It conflicted with the celebration of Passover. That drew some protests.

There were a couple of comments that stirred up the relatively small crowd. The biggest stir came when an obvious anti-Trump person wondered if Yoho would condemn the president for visiting Mar-a-Lago so frequently. The Congressman fired back, asking the person if they were just as upset with President Obama’s frequent trips to Hawaii to play golf. That drew a large outcry from the crowd.

Yoho also said he was looking to open an Ocala office, but was having trouble getting computers. You mean to tell me that a U.S. Representative hasn’t got enough pull to get things for an office?

As we said at the end of last week’s story, we put some information about video being recorded. The crew from a TV program called "Vice," which is on HBO, was the only media there except for the Messenger/Citizen. Not being an HBO person, I won’t see the show, but let me know how it was if you see it.

Jim Clark is the editor of the West Marion Messenger and the South Marion Citizen.