EAST MANATEE -- The contentious health care reform debate drew an overflow crowd today to Braden River High School for Rep. Vern Buchanan's town hall meeting.
All of the parking lots at Braden River High School were full by the start of the 4 p.m. town hall meeting and deputies were directing drivers elsewhere. Inside, it was standing-room-only and no one else was being allowed into the meeting.
The overflow, an estimated 700-800 people in cafeteria, watched large screen TV. An equal number packed the auditorium, There was frequent applause, and boos and jeers when someone mades a pro Obama statement.
Some of those at the town hall meeting held signs. People of all ages attended, with some waiting outside for the chance to enter.
The school is located at the corner of State Road 70 and Caruso Road.
“Congress is debating health care reform legislation,” said Buchanan prior to the town hall meeting. “We also need to address the economy. I want to listen to the people and get their ideas and suggestions on how to reduce costs and increase access to affordable health care, grow the economy, and create jobs. “
This is the eighth in a series of town meetings Buchanan has held throughout the district this year to give constituents a chance to express their views on federal issues.