And a theme has emerged among the GOP contenders: most are current or former state senators.
Missouri’s 7th congressional district — as it stands now — is deeply red and nestled in the southwest corner of Missouri and includes Springfield and Branson. It is the seat formerly held by outgoing Republican Senator Roy Blunt whose decision not to run for re-election set off the campaign domino effect in Missouri.
Here’s a look at the Republican contenders for the seat.
Sen. Eric Burlison, a member of the Senate Conservative Caucus, launched his campaign for Congress in early September. In the legislature, Burlison represents SD 20, which encompasses Christian County as well as part of Greene County, and leads the Small Business and Industry Committee.
Burlison has been backed by Club for Growth and the House Freedom Fund. He is an investment advisor representative as well as a tax planner and retirement designer.
During the last legislative session, Burlison shepherded the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA), which declared federal laws that could restrict gun ownership among law-abiding Missourians “invalid,” through the upper chamber. He has also worked on legislation to streamline and quicken the Amber Alert system in Missouri.
A member of the Senate Conservative Caucus, Sen. Mike Moon was the first to launch his congressional bid, doing so in late August.
Moon raises cattle in Lawrence County and represents SD 29 in the Senate, which encompasses Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Stone, and Taney counties. He is the vice-chairman of the Small Business and Industry Committee and is a staunch pro-life advocate in the General Assembly.
Known to be a venerable campaigner, Moon has a unique advantage: His Senate term is not up this cycle, and he does not plan to give up his seat for the campaign.
Former state Sen. Jay Wasson jumped into the race in late September, saying he plans to “fix what is broken” in Washington, D.C., but vowing not to stay in Congress for long.
Wasson served multiple terms in the Missouri House and Senate where he represented SD 20 in the upper chamber. An Ozarks native, Wasson is known for his conservative leadership in the Senate where he advocated for tax cuts and fully funding schools.
Wasson has a background in real estate development, particularly in commercial development. He is a former Nixa mayor and serves on the Missouri State University board of governors.
Dr. Sam Alexander announced his bid for Long’s seat in August. Alexander is an emergency room physician with the Emergency Physicians of Springfield.
He is a life-long farmer and a graduate of the University of Missouri—Kansas City Medical School. With his family, Alexander has a farm on land near the Gasconade River, a horse hay production farm near Fair Play, and a commercial cow-calf ranch near Eureka, Kansas.
Minister and businessman Alex Bryant jumped into the race for the 7th congressional district on Feb. 17.
“I believe we are now at another turning point — a time where we must choose. Will we allow the Washington political establishment and their Big Tech allies to run roughshod over our values, dividing Americans into groups to assert power over us? Or will we choose the path of unity as one nation under God,” Bryant said.
Bryant kicked off his campaign at a packed Bass Pro Shops White River Conference Center room. He said he began his ministry “to speak messages of peace, forgiveness, and unity in the wake of the racial tension in our country.”
A Joplin native, Audrey Richards announced her candidacy in mid-September. She told the Branson Tri-Lakes News she has worked for the U.S. Treasury Department and believed she has an advantage since she’s not a lifelong politician. She ran as a write-in candidate for the CD 7 seat in 2020.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.