Congressman Joe Wilson embarks on annual ‘bus tour,’ visits with business owners and constituents

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson is spending part of his week talking with his constituents.

On Monday, his annual bus tour kicked off with several stops in Aiken.

Earlier this month, the Aiken Democratic Party started a petition demanding that Congressman Wilson meet with the people who voted him into office.

While, the Congressman didn’t say his bus tour was in response to the petition, he told WJBF NewsChannel 6 he always makes himself available to the people he represents.

Julie Edwards didn’t vote for the U.S. Congressman, but she says he’s still her representative.

That’s why, on Monday, she used her lunch break to meet-up with the lawmaker during his annual bus tour.

Edwards brought a hefty list of very specific questions.

“Specifically about Charlottesville, it took him about 4 days to put out a statement. It was only on Facebook and it didn’t call out specifically like Neo-Nazis, KKK, White Supremacist.” Edwards told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “We are worried that he’s not more strongly condemning violence.”

“Well actually it wasn’t long. I was actually in Guatemala. When I left Monday morning, I was in Guatemala City and I issued a statement as soon as the staff was in place on Monday.” Wilson said.

One of the stops on the bus tour was at the Alley Downtown Taproom, where Wilson met with local business owner Norman Dunagan.

Dunagan says over the years, Wilson has always made time to drop by and check-up on him and his business ventures.

“And every time that I’ve released something or shown off anything new he makes time to come and share it with me,” Dunagan said. “So, it’s been a great relationship.”

Still, Edwards says Wilson needs to consider the times he’s available to meet with the community, because unlike her some people can’t leave work, to stop by a restaurant, in the middle of the day.

“He works for us, his constituents. We just want to ask him questions about his votes, about his statements that he’s made recently.” Edwards said. “For some reason, every time we ask for a town hall he just he says he’s going to be at a restaurant or he’s going to be doing this bus tour, that he does. We just don’t think that’s enough.”

“My whole view and my commitment is to be accountable and accessible. I enjoy the people I represent and serve,” Wilson said.

Congressman Wilson says he’s meeting with people nearly every minute of the day.

He has offices in Aiken, North Augusta, Barnwell, and West Columbia that are always open for the community to talk to him.

The bus tour continues with stops throughout Lexington on Tuesday, the Midlands on Wednesday, and Barnwell and Orangeburg on Thursday.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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