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Updated Oct. 14, 2010
Auctioneer and realtor Billy Long won the crowded Republican primary in August with 37 percent of the vote.
He is all but certain to succeed Blunt, the former House Republican Whip, in this safe Republican district. Long may also be one of the more colorful characters in the next freshman class.
The Democratic nominee is lawyer Scott Eckersley, a onetime aide to then-Gov. Matt Blunt (R), the Congressman's son. Eckersley has tried to distance himself from his party label, and he got the support of businessman Michael Wardell, a Republican candidate who got less than 1 percent of the vote in the GOP primary.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 7th District sits nestled in the southwest corner of Missouri. Springfield is the region's industrial and commercial center, while Branson leads the 7th's tourism sector. This part of the state, where unpredictable weather reigns, has a strong farming foundation.
Springfield, in Greene County, is a manufacturing hub and also is home to a few large national retail chains. Nearly 50 percent of district residents live in either Greene or neighboring Christian County. The other population center, Joplin, once a mining center, lies across the 7th in Jasper County.
A family-friendly entertainment destination, Branson is a magnet for country music fans. This town of 11,000 draws more than 7 million visitors a year, and Branson Airport, the first privately developed and operated commercial service airport in the country, helps bring in tourists. Overall, the area relies on the city's more than 50 theaters -- including the Andy Williams Moon River, Mel Tillis and Dick Clark's American Bandstand theaters -- and the resort industry around Taneycomo and Table Rock lakes.
The southwestern corner of the district supports beef and dairy cattle, along with poultry farming. Expansion of U.S. Highway 71, which runs from Kansas City into Arkansas and will become an interstate highway by 2012, has improved accessibility.
The 7th has long been a GOP bastion. The Assemblies of God, based in Springfield, is among the religious groups that reflect the area's devout, conservative population.
Agriculture, tourism, manufacturing
Springfield, 159,498; Joplin, 50,150
George Washington Carver's boyhood home in Diamond is a national monument.
|2010||general||Billy Long (R)||141,010||63.4%|
|Scott Eckersley (D)||67,545||30.4%|
|Kevin Craig (LIBERT)||13,866||6.2%|
|Nicholas Ladendorf (WRI)||10|
|2008||general||Roy Blunt (R)||219,016||67.8%|
|Richard Monroe (D)||91,010||28.2%|
|Kevin Craig (LIBERT)||6,971||2.2%|
|Travis Maddox (CNSTP)||6,166||1.9%|
|2006||general||Roy Blunt (R)||160,942||66.7%|
|Jack Truman (D)||72,592||30.1%|
|Kevin Craig (LIBERT)||7,566||3.1%|
|2004||general||Roy Blunt (R)||210,080||70.4%|
|Jim Newberry (D)||84,356||28.3%|
|Kevin Craig (LIBERT)||2,767||0.9%|
|Steve Alger (CNSTP)||1,002||0.3%|
|2002||general||Roy Blunt (R)||149,519||74.8%|
|Ron Lapham (D)||45,964||23%|
|Doug Burlison (LIBERT)||4,378||2.2%|
|Steven Reed (D)||2|
|2008||Barack Obama: 35%||John McCain: 63%|
|2004||John Kerry: 32%||George W. Bush: 67%|
|2000||Al Gore: 36%||George W. Bush: 62%|