Rep. Duncan turns down request for town hall; ‘Kookfest’ protest event planned

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Congressman Jimmy Duncan is saying no to pressure from advocacy groups calling for him to hold town hall meetings.

In a response to constituents, Duncan says town hall meetings “would very quickly turn into shouting opportunities for extremists, kooks and radicals.”

The early weeks of the Trump administration have brought protests both nationally and in the Knoxville area on issues from women’s rights to immigration to the education secretary. There’s now an event dubbed “Kookfest” in response to Duncan’s rejection letter. The event is set for Friday afternoon in downtown Knoxville.

Duncan’s deputy chief of staff Don Walker says Duncan believes it’s best to meet with constituents individually or in small groups and has held town halls when he felt they were productive, but “by the bullying tone of most of these phone calls and emails, he can tell that a public meeting would not be productive.”



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