NEWTOWN, Conn. — After walking nearly 22 miles in his walk across Connecticut, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy was greeted with a standing ovation from a crowd of 500 voters at arrived at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown on Thursday evening.
"Walking across Connecticut is a great idea in theory," Murphy said after he was introduced by First Selectman Pat Llodra for the town hall meeting.
"Then I end up at the end of the day coming up Church Hill Road" ... and a steep hill.
He took off on Sunday from Killingly. Murphy hoofed it nearly 21 miles on Wednesday and will wrap it up with a 10-mile walk on Thursday, arriving in Danbury for a picnic celebration at noon at Rogers Park.
Even after the four days of hiking, Murphy — sporting a red UConn T-shirt, shorts and a few days worth of beard — stayed on his feet for another 90 minutes as he took questions from his constituents.
Many asked about health care, and a few complained about President Donald Trump. Two people asked about Murphy's plans for the future — "Are you planning my retirement?" he asked the first person. The second questioner was more direct: "Do you plan to run for president?"
But Murphy's favorite question of the night came from 6-year-old Kenneth Miller of Newtown, who waited patiently in line for nearly an hour for his turn.
“How can we make America kind again?” Kenneth asked, after giving his name and age.
Murphy gave Kenneth a high-five and told a story about a similar question from his 8-year-old son, Owen, who asked “Dad, what’s the point of all this?”
"And what I said to him was that when it all comes down to it, I think the point is to be kind. And to try and make things better for one another. And to help people," Murphy said.
Kenneth, who said with a big smile that he was "terrified" to ask his question, thought Murphy gave him "a pretty good answer." What prompted the rising first-grader to speak up?
"Oh, it was all his idea," said his mom, Christine Miller, a social worker at Broadview Middle School in Danbury.
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