Cotton, who has been in the Senate since 2015, moved the location of the meeting multiple times before settling on Springdale High School in Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Online reports.
He agreed to hold the meeting after his office in that area of the state was picketed earlier this month, according to the newspaper. Activists with the group Indivisible called on him to hold the town hall meeting to take questions from his constituents.
“I look forward to welcoming Arkansans at Wednesday’s town hall at the Pat Walker Performing Arts Center on the Campus of Springdale High School and I appreciate your patience as we’ve changed venues over the past few days,” Cotton said in a press release. “On Sunday evening, the Bentonville school board approved the use of the Arend Arts Center, but they withdrew their offer after the Bentonville police chief expressed concerns over security. I’m grateful the Springdale School Board has made their larger facility available, and I want to encourage as many Arkansans as possible to come to what should be an engaging and informative event.”
The center holds about 1,200 people.
Caitlynn Moses, of Ozark Indivisible, who opposes President Donald Trump, told Arkansas Online, “I”m just glad to have a solid venue, a real space,” she said. “Hopefully, this hasn’t messed with people too much and they’ll still come.”
The meeting with Cotton, whose views fall mostly in line with those of Trump and his supporters, came after the president and some Republicans claimed town halls being held by Republican Congressmen are being flooded with paid protesters or people who live outside their districts.
“There’s a hybrid there: I think some people are clearly upset, but there is a bit of professional protester, manufactured base in there,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at his Wednesday briefing, according to The Hill. “Obviously there are people who are upset, but I also think that when you look at some of these districts and some of these things, it is not a representation of a member’s district or an incident. It is a loud, small group of people disrupting something in many cases for media attention.”