It wasn’t even three minutes past 2 o’clock and more than 100 people sat within the confines of the Fairview City Commission room.
Doors had opened only moments earlier for the anticipated Tennessee Seventh Congressional District’s Marsha Blackburn town hall event in Williamson, the only one on the district’s schedule within her home county.
Brentwood’s Ashley Briggs sat in the very front row. She said she feels like Blackburn was out of touch with her constituents in what she considered an evolving county. Briggs said she grew up in Williamson, but moved back in 2014.
“I feel like our county has changed a lot since I grew up in the late ’80s,” she said. “Things are different. People have a lot of different ideas. We are not the old-school conservative county we used to be. I would like her to take the time to have more town halls and meet with people in Franklin, in Brentwood –– the population centers. She needs to get a feel for where we are now.”
Outside the commission hall and metal detector, dozens stood in line in front of the Fairview City Recorder, hoping to nab one of the 135 coveted spots. Brentwood’s Donna Wilson arrived first. She said curiosity brought her to the northwestern end of the county. She said she didn’t even come necessarily prepared with questions to ask.
“I’ve never been to a town hall before and she is my congresswoman,” Wilson said. “The recent activities around the United States with other town halls just made me want to come and see what she has to say.”
Down the steps from Wilson, protesters started setting up outside – those supporting Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act and environmental issues.
Blackburn’s town hall started at 3:30 p.m. with a 10 minute speech followed by 50 minutes of questions from the audience.