Photos: Donut Holes and Drama at Florence Town Hall Meeting
Last night’s town hall meeting with Rep. Tom Rice in Florence, SC was a bit more boisterous than than last week’s dual town hall with Rep. Mark Sanford and Sen. Tim Scott in North Charleston. Rice arrived about 45 minutes before they opened the doors for the event at the Florence County Library and went backwards through the line, having short conversations with most everyone outside. When they finally opened the doors, one of first people in line told me she was surprised to see that there was already several handfuls of folks seated in the first two rows. In front of them were printed signs, the red ones read, “Freedom, Jobs, Security” and the blue ones, “Americans for Trump.”
Several times during the meeting the two groups went back and forth. At one point a man shouted at another man who didn’t have to wait in line, “Why don’t you pick on someone your size?” About halfway through, a chanting crowd outside of those turned away was ordered back to a “free speech zone” — marked by a few orange cones about 25 feet from the building. A man who told me he was the mayor’s father then got into an argument with local law enforcement about free speech. After the meeting I went to grab a donut hole where a woman told me those seats occupied before doors opened should have been for the constituents that waited had waited in line.
To view all the photos from the assignment: Town Hall Meeting with Rep. Tom Rice or click the collage
Photos and words by Sean Rayford for Getty Images.
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