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Rep. Harder Talks Gun Control, Climate Change With Young Crowd at Modesto Town Hall

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MODESTO -- At a town hall event Tuesday at Modesto Junior College, Congressman Josh Harder took questions from mostly teens about issues that matter to them.

The issues the group ranked as their most pressing were paying for college, climate change and gun control.

High school student Lauren Conrad said she is most worried about mass shootings and said it makes sense that many of her classmates came to ask about climate change.

“It affects us a lot more just mainly because it’s our future and we’re the ones cleaning up the mess,” Conrad said. "And we have to be more focused on it or else we may not have a future.”

The event comes on the heels of Rep. Harder introducing a bill to help bring vocational job training to Central Valley students.

“The best way to adapt with technological change is to make sure that our students are being equipped for the jobs of the future right now,” the Democratic lawmaker said.

Absent from many of the concerns Tuesday was the one subject the congressman hears the most about when he is back in Washington, D.C. – impeachment.

Just last week, he and many other newly-elected members who had been hesitant to support impeachment in the past finally threw their support behind it.

“I’ve been very cautious about this,” Harder said. “This was not a political calculation, this is a moral and constitutional obligation. When you have clear evidence of a president putting his own self-interests in front of our nation’s security, you have to take action.”

Whether he likes it or not, impeachment may be one of the defining issues of his next race.

In an ad released exclusively to FOX40, Harder’s 2020 challenger, Republican Ted Howze, connects Harder with other California Democrats who have not been shy about their support for impeachment. They include Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the driving forces behind it.

“I’m running for Congress against Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenant, Josh Harder,” Howze says in his ad.

Still, Harder said his focus will be on issues directly relevant to the valley, hoping his 2020 race with Howze keeps that focus as well.

The Cook Political Report, which tracks tight races, has California District 10 between Harder and Howze in the “Competitive Races” category. Right now, the race leans Democrat but it’s a district he won by less than 10,000 votes, getting 52% of the vote in 2018.

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