U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson speaks to the crowd at the reception for the newly completed first phase of construction of Walton High School in Marietta, GA Sunday, July 30, 2017. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Isakson to hold town hall on Kennesaw State’s campus

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will be holding his first in-person town hall event of the year at Kennesaw State University on Monday.

The public event will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the university’s Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. Tickets are first come, first served.

Health care is expected to be a major theme at next week’s event, since it comes on the heels of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s announcement that it would pull out of metro Atlanta’s Obamacare exchanges next year due to political uncertainty. The forum also comes a few weeks after the Senate GOP’s long-awaited effort to repeal Obamacare collapsed.

Isakson is among the only Georgia GOP legislators scheduled to host public events during the month-long August recess. With the exception of Buddy Carter of Pooler, who is hosting nine in-person town halls this week, and Doug Collins of Gainesville, most Republican congressmen have dodged the spotlight amid a surge of civic activism.

The lawmakers have been under immense pressure to hold in-person town halls since President Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Isakson and his Senate GOP colleague David Perdue saw their email inboxes bombarded and phone lines inundated by callers complaining about Trump and his Cabinet nominees earlier this year. A public meeting their staffs held in Greensboro back in February turned testy in a scene reminiscent of some of the viral confrontations that have marked other congressional town halls across the country. A group of constituents has been hosting weekly protests outside of Perdue’s Atlanta office for months.

Isakson has hosted three telephone town halls over the last several months, polite events that have helped blunt the complaints of some critics about his lack of in-person events. Others, though, have complained about the controlled nature of the calls.

The third-term Republican has largely avoided the public spotlight this spring and summer after a pair of back surgeries stemming from a case of spinal deterioration left him in physical therapy.

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