Updated 11:54 a.m. Thursday
Congressman Jason Lewis, who has been criticized for ducking the public by not having town hall meetings, plans to hold three town halls this Saturday, including one in Jordan.
They will mark his first town hall since being elected.
The conservative Republican represents Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, and his race is expected to be among the toughest in the mid-terms.
He's been accused of avoiding public meetings where anyone can ask anything of him, although he has held multiple "telephone town halls."
In a May 10 email to those on his email list, Lewis invites them to the town halls, with a link to click on to get a ticket, with a deadline of May 15. Lewis's office sent out a press release to media outlets today, which requires reporters to RSVP and provide photo ID to get in.
Lewis was narrowly elected to his first term in 2016, beating Democrat Angie Craig by less than 2 percent. She is running against him again, and Democrats are targeting the race as they hope to regain control of the U.S. House.
In response to Lewis releasing details on his town halls, Craig released a statement to the Valley News saying, "These aren't public meetings. They are only a few days away and Jason Lewis has yet to inform anyone if they are even permitted to attend. It's absurd and insulting that a member of Congress thinks he has the right to screen participants and deny constituents entry to the only public events he has held throughout his entire term. That's why I have already committed to holding at least one public meeting a month should I have the honor of being elected to Congress."
Carter Moelk, Lewis's spokeswoman, said after a strong first year-and-a-half serving the district, Lewis wanted to continue his "constant communications with his constituents" by hitting the road for a series of town halls.
"Congressman Lewis takes pride in actively communicating with his constituents daily both in D.C. and in Minnesota through 271 in-person group meetings and tours around the district, seven employee town halls, a record setting 19 tele-town halls, and 139,846 constituent comment replies. We are looking for a productive town hall under standard common sense rules for Lewis to hear from people in his district as he works to continue to have an open dialogue with the Minnesotans he represents," she said in a statement to the Valley News.
Lewis will host town halls in Wabasha, Lakeville, and Jordan, Minnesota this Saturday, May 19 at:
- Wabasha, National Eagle Center, 116 Main St W. The doors open at 9:30 a.m.; the event begins at 10 a.m.
- Lakeville, Rosehenge Hall, 20732 Holt Avenue. Doors open 1 p.m., event begins at 1:30 p.m.
- Jordan, Carasim Coffee Shop, 231 Broadway St. Doors open 4:30 p.m.; event begins at 5 p.m.