U.S. Rep.-elect Ben Cline stops in Roanoke for first of four town hall meetings with residents

ROANOKE, Va.- – Republican U.S. Rep.-elect Ben Cline is taking time to listen to the people who call the Star City home about issues that are important to them.   

He'll also be listening to voters in Staunton, Lexington and Harrisonburg. 

Out of the 19 localities, these are four places he did not win the majority vote over his Democratic opponent Jennifer Lewis in the November election. 

The stop at the VFW Post 1264 in Roanoke is the first of four town hall meetings Cline is hosting after his victory for the 6th Congressional District seat. 

Health care was the most talked about topic.

Kevin Russell, a voter from Roanoke, made it a point to stand next to Cline while expressing his frustrations over the rising cost of his health care coverage.

"The one you can buy from privately now, for those of you who don't know is Anthem. That's the only one who will sell it. My Anthem health care policy was canceled," said Russell. 

Russell questioned where Cline stands on the Affordable Care Act. 

"You stated in your position you don't like Obamacare. Obamacare cost me a lot of money but I do like the provision that says you have a pre-existing conditions," he told Cline. 

Cline says repealing ACA is something he's open to work on and moved toward a market-based system. 

"We do need to provide for portability for employees. We do need to provide a way for you to purchase insurance across state lines," said Cline. 

Once in Washington, Cline wants to fight for transparency in government and improvements for Interstate 81. 

"It was a built for 15% truck traffic and it's gone over 30% of truck traffic on there now. The accident rates makes it the most deadly highway in Virginia and probably on the East Coast.  So we need to do something save peoples lives," said Cline. 

Some of his voters at the town hall urged Cline to work across party lines.

"The American people are not to be held hostage by the government. And that's all there is. Because I will vote against you next time very strongly if you don't". 

Cline is congratulating the person taking over his former 24th District seat. 

In a special election, Republican Ronnie Campbell defeated Democratic nominee Christian Worth. Campbell is a Rockbridge County supervisor and a retired Virginia state trooper of 25 years. 

He says Campbell will be a great fit for the seat. 

"He's a great conservative. He's going to do a good job of taking the values of the 24th District to Richmond. He doesn't need any on-the-job training. He's been working on the board of supervisors for many years," said Cline. 

Cline will take office Jan. 3.