U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, conducted a town hall at Dunwoody High School on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photo: Branden Camp/Special to the AJC)
Photo: Branden Camp
Photo: Branden Camp

U.S. Rep. McBath pushes bipartisanship at town hall

Dunwoody resident Robert Wolford waved his handwritten “Impeach Trump” poster board in front of the high school auditorium as about 200 residents made their way through soaking rain for Saturday’s town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath.

“Lock him up,” an older woman said as she passed.

Wolford smiled from behind dark, wraparound sunglasses. “We need a trial first,” he said.

However, McBath, D-Marietta, is among the mass of House Democrats not openly agitating for an impeachment inquiry into the president. But even before a friendly crowd packed with supporters, the first-term congresswoman representing Georgia’s 6th District felt the pressure.

Lori Goldstrom asks U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta., a question during a town hall at Dunwoody High School on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photo: Branden Camp/Special to the AJC)

In fact, the second question of the event advocated opening impeachment proceedings against the president. Marietta resident Lori Goldstrom, who described herself as one of McBath’s early backers, said she was “concerned” she had not spoken out in support of impeachment.

“It’s really troubling, all these children who are dying at the border,” she said. “The House has a job to do and you need to have a hearing.”

McBath nodded, adding that she was “absolutely furious” about the actions of the Trump administration, without echoing the “i” word or mentioning the president by name.

“Looking at the Mueller Report, there is no doubt in our mind that there has been obstructive behavior in concealing the truth,” she said. But McBath urged patience and switched the emphasis to enforcing House subpoenas issued to current and former administration officials.

“We need to hear from the witnesses who can give us the truth as to what actually happened,” she said. “We need to make sure that no entity, and no one person, is above the law. … At the end of the day, the chips will fall where they may.”

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath speaks during a town hall at Dunwoody High School on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photo: Branden Camp/Special to the AJC)

McBath tacked toward the Democratic middle throughout the hourlong appearance. Again and again, she stressed the need to find bipartisan solutions to national problems on health care, climate and infrastructure.

“I’m going to continue to reach across the aisle each and every day,” she said. “My goal is to be the Georgia congresswoman who has passed (the most) bipartisan legislation.”

In the second of four planned town halls, McBath is readying herself to campaign for re-election campaign one of the nation’s few toss-up districts.

McBath defeated incumbent Rep. Karen Handel last year by just more than 3,000 votes, and Republicans have made flipping the district back a top priority. Already, four GOP challengers, including Handel, have announced plans to run for the seat.

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, greets guest before speaking at a town hall at Dunwoody High School on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photo: Branden Camp/Special to the AJC)

Even on issues central to her political identity, like stopping gun violence, McBath tried to strike a moderate tone.

“I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” she said. “However, we must make sure, as I have always said, that we are balancing those Second Amendment rights with sensible gun laws that protect as many lives as possible.”

McBath, who lost a son to gun violence, has made tougher background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people a cornerstone issue. As a result, the National Rifle Association has made defeating her a goal in the 2020 election.

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath speaks with a group of Girl Scouts before holding a town hall meeting at Dunwoody High School on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photo: Branden Camp/Special to the AJC)

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