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Profile: Billy Long, Republican candidate for U..S. House, Missouri District 7

October 18, 2010|by Steve Grant, KY3 News | sgrant@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Whoever wins the election on Nov. 2 for the congressional seat from far southwestern Missouri, he’ll be a newcomer to the Washington political scene.  Whether he can “deliver” to the “homefolks” is an unknown. That was one of the questions put to Billy Long for this profile.

Billy Long has been working crowds, meeting and greeting potential voters.  Even though a Republican has represented the Seventh District since 1961, Long says he’s taking nothing for granted in the final days of the campaign

“There's been many a slip between the cup and lip,” he said.

Long has the political winds of favor blowing in his direction from the top of the Republican Party ticket.

“(Former Congressman) Mel Hancock and (current Congressman) Roy Blunt said the other day, ‘I'll help you get started and get you on the right track,’” said Long.

So he's keeps on message and preaching to the choir on “Obamacare,” the derisive name that opponents give to the federal health care reform law passed this year.

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”We need to de-fund it. People are furious. I’m yet to find anybody who’s happy with Obama.”

He also wants to re-write the farm subsidies program to help families, not corporations.

”They're bringing milk in from out of state and our farmers help pay for it,” he said.

And, whatever you've heard about Social Security, he insists he won't vote for cutting it.

”That's what the Democrats want you to believe; nothing could be further from the truth.”

His latest pledge is “no earmarking,” period.  That’s the practice of senators and congressmen with clout inserting specific funding for projects in their districts into appropriations bills.  Blunt, as well as Sen. Kit Bond, often sponsor earmarks.

”I'm ahead of the curve on that one,” he said.  “Projects need to be done on merit, not seniority.”

That said, the Republican from Springfield promises that voters need not lower their expectations if he becomes a first-term congressman. 

Long is opposed by Democrat Scott Eckersley, Libertarian Kevin Craig, and write-in candidate Nicholas Ladendorf.  They're vying to replace Blunt, who is running for the U.S. Senate after even terms as a U.S. representative.

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