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Eric Burlison jumps into CD 7 race

Sen. Eric Burlison has launched his campaign for Congressman Billy Long’s seat — the second conservative state senator to do so this week. 

Burlison represents SD 20, which encompasses Christian County as well as part of Greene County, in the Senate. He leads the Small Business and Industry Committee and serves as vice-chairman of the Professional Registration Committee. Burlison, who has served in the General Assembly since 2009, is a member of the Senate Conservative Caucus. 

“I am proud to say I have a solid record safeguarding Missouri from radical socialism and championing conservative and America First values in our state,” Burlison said. “As the socialist Democrats in Washington continue to unleash wave after wave of woke, socialist policies on our country, I am now ready to take the fight to Congress to take back America.” 

In an interview with The Missouri Times, Burlison said he was prepared to take on Congress because he’s been pressuring leadership at the state level in Missouri to care about certain, potentially less-flashy issues throughout his career, specifically pointing to constitutional carry and right to work legislation.

“You have to press in and lean in on leadership. Sometimes that means doing things that leadership doesn’t necessarily want to do, but you keep fighting for these things and making them a conversation, and they can’t avoid them,” Burlison said. “That’s something I’ve done all these years while I’ve been in office — give leadership the courage to do the right thing.”

Long has represented Missouri’s 7th congressional district since 2011 but is one of multiple GOP contenders for U.S. Senate. Nestled in the southwest corner of Missouri, the district includes Springfield and Branson and is the seat formerly held by outgoing Senator Roy Blunt

Burlison described the 7th district as one that seeks help from the government as a last resort, pointing to neighbors helping each other in the aftermath of the 2011 Joplin tornado as an example.

“This is one of the reddest of red districts in the nation. People here, they don’t want [the] government to govern their lives. They want God to govern their lives. They want to be self-reliant,” Burlison said. “This is a culture and a people that seeks government’s help at the very last resort. We help ourselves and help each other, and lastly seek the government’s help.”

Burlison lives in Battlefield with his wife and two daughters and is an alumnus from Missouri State University. He is an investment advisor representative with Wealthcare, LLC., as well as a tax planner and retirement designer with American Tax Strategies, LLC. Additionally, Burlison works as a process architect at Cerner. 

During the past legislative session, Burlison shepherded the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) through the upper chamber. The law, which went into effect Aug. 28 after surviving a court challenge, declares federal laws that could restrict gun ownership among law-abiding Missourians “invalid.” It also said law enforcement officers cannot enforce federal firearm regulations that could be deemed invalid under the law, holding departments financially liable if they do so. 

Burlison also worked on Hailey’s Law which streamlined and quickened the Amber Alert system in Missouri. He was a “no” vote on a coronavirus-related supplemental budget bill in 2020 because of “wasteful spending” and carried a bill this past session that would have exempted three counties from the motor vehicle emissions inspection program. 

Additionally, Burlison has been a staunch pro-life legislator and has opposed shutdowns and mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Whether it is Joe Biden’s disastrous debacle in Afghanistan that stains the honor so many fought to defend, a growing disaster at our borders, or runaway federal spending, it is clear President Biden is asleep at the wheel and leaders in Congress are failing to hold him accountable,” Burlison said. “Still, out-of-touch moderate members of our own party, like Liz Cheney, are joining Nancy Pelosi and her crusade to attack and disparage President Trump and his supporters.” 

“These are troubling signs, but I am ready to roll up my sleeves and win our country back. I will never be a weak Republican who wants to go to Washington and play politics,” he added. “I will be a champion for our southwest Missouri conservative values and fight every day to protect our way of life.” 

Shortly after his announcement, the conservative Club for Growth PAC issued an endorsement.

“Eric Burlison will be a difference-maker in Washington who will stand up to the Establishment and fight for conservative, pro-growth policies that will help Missouri families,” said Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh. “Burlison will be a champion for loosening burdensome regulations on small businesses, expanding school freedom in education, and cutting taxes for working families. We look forward to supporting his winning campaign for Congress.”

Burlison’s announcement came the day after Sen. Mike Moon, another conservative member in the upper chamber, launched his candidacy for the seat. Like Burlison, Moon also decried certain Republicans in Washington, D.C., saying he “would never trade a day on the ranch for a cocktail hour in D.C.” 

Former state Sen. Jay Wasson has said he’s “actively considering” a bid for the 7th district. Former House Speaker Elijah Haahr has ruled out a campaign

This story has been updated with the Club for Growth endorsement.