GOP Rep. Billy Long joins Missouri Senate race

He joins a crowded field vying to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt

Missouri GOP Rep. Billy Long is joining the crowd pursuing the state's open Senate seat.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Missouri GOP Rep. Billy Long is joining the crowd pursuing the state's open Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted August 3, 2021 at 8:56pm, Updated August 4, 2021 at 10:12am

Missouri GOP Rep. Billy Long is going after the state's open Senate seat, he announced Tuesday night.

“As Republicans we must fight hard to regain control of the Senate,” Long said in an interview on Fox News. “The Democrats are working at warp-speed to dismantle everything President [Donald] Trump and I fought for over the last four years. I'm fed-up and I'm not having it!"

Long’s campaign issued a press release after the interview noting former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, who was described as Long’s “good friend,” will serve as the campaign’s senior advisor and pollster.

Long joins an already crowded field of candidates in the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Roy Blunt. Politico reported that Long met with Trump in New York City before launching his campaign.

The primary field includes another member of Missouri’s congressional delegation,  Vicky Hartzler, who launched her Senate campaign in June. Rep. Jason Smith is also considering a run, while Rep. Ann Wagner announced Tuesday morning that she will not run for Senate. 

Former Gov. Eric Greitens, who left office in 2018 amid multiple scandals, is also running, along with state Attorney General Eric Schmitt and attorney Mark McCloskey, who made national headlines last year when he and his wife brandished guns when Black Lives Matter protesters marched near their home. GOP Gov. Mike Parson pardoned the couple on Tuesday. 

Long, first elected to the House in 2010, represents the deeply Republican 7th District in the southwestern part of the state, which includes Springfield and Joplin. Before coming to Congress, Long worked as an auctioneer and a talk radio host. 

Missouri is not one of the eight states that Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates as a Senate battleground. Trump won Missouri by 19 points in 2020.