Cory Gardner, other state leaders, take questions at town hall

Impromptu event draws hundreds, including protesters

Donna Graves, left, and Lynne Bruzzese were among the packed house at a town hall meeting Friday in Durango featuring Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Scott Tipton and U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner. The town hall, which covered a wide range of issues, was held after the officials toured the Gold King Mine site with Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Donna Graves, left, and Lynne Bruzzese were among the packed house at a town hall meeting Friday in Durango featuring Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Rep. Scott Tipton and U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner. The town hall, which covered a wide range of issues, was held after the officials toured the Gold King Mine site with Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hundreds of people attended a town hall meeting Friday in Durango, where Gov. John Hickenlooper, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, and Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet took questions from participants.

The town hall was a bit of an impromptu event. It was added to another event that brought government officials to town in the first place: A tour of the Gold King Mine and Superfund site north of Silverton with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The town hall started about 2:15 p.m. at the La Plata County Administration Building. It lasted about 45 minutes, but Gardner and Bennet stuck around to take questions for about another hour.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside, some targeting Pruitt but most targeting Gardner, who has been ridiculed for refusing to hold in-person town hall meetings for about 493 days – until Friday.

The elected officials made quick remarks about the Superfund site and then opened the floor to questions. Topics included education, the environment, federal health care, Colorado’s low unemployment rate and much more.

Video from the town hall can be viewed on The Durango Herald’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheDurangoHerald

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