U.S. Rep. Greg Walden plans to come to Bend on April 13 for a town hall meeting to hear local concerns and take questions on the fragmented political scene in Washington, D.C.

Walden, R-Hood River, will be in Bend from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Mountain View High School main gym, 2755 NE 27th St. Earlier in the day, he will be in Prineville from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Crook County High School Auditorium, 1100 SE Lynn Blvd.

In Bend, the largest city in his district, Walden has been criticized for not holding a town hall meeting since 2013.

Walden’s announcement Tuesday said his visits are the latest in a long string of question-and-answer sessions with constituents. The 10-term congressman said he has held 137 town halls since 2012 across the 2nd District, which covers the eastern half of the state and parts of Southern Oregon.

“I’ve been proud to hold regular town hall meetings in all 20 counties in our vast district,” Walden said in the press release.

The traditionally sedate back-to-the-district events held by members of Congress have taken on a sharper edge since the November 2016 election. Several Republican lawmakers have been heckled and sometimes forced to leave early or cancel events by angry constituents and organized protests. Among the targets: GOP-led attempts to repeal Obamacare and the policies of President Trump on issues such as the environment and immigration.

Walden’s critics in Bend claim the sole Republican in Oregon’s House and Senate delegation avoids the rapidly growing area because it does not give him the stalwart support he receives from the rest of his largely rural district.

Protesters have recently held mock town halls — without the congressman — outside Walden’s office in the Jamison Building on NW Bond Street.

— Reporter: 541-383-0367, gwarner@bendbulletin.com

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