SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – State Sen. Eric Burlison announced his candidacy for Missouri’s 7th Congressional District last month, joining four other challengers vying for the Republican nomination.
Burlison currently represents Missouri’s 20th Senate District which encompasses Christian County and part of Greene County. He told Heartlander News that he’s “feeling great” about the campaign ahead and said it’s going to be a “new challenge”.
“We are always fighting DC from the state legislative level,” he said. “Ever since I was a freshman member of the House, we have sent resolutions to D.C. to try to stop them from spending so much money… With that, you realize that you can only continue to do so much from the state level when there’s an opportunity to take the fight directly to DC.”
Congressman Billy Long has represented Missouri’s 7th Congressional District since 2011 but is vacating the seat after joining a crowded Republican primary for a bid at Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2022. CD 7 encompasses Polk, Greene, Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Lawrence, Barry, Stone, Christian and Taney counties, as well as part of Webster County.
The election to fill Long’s seat will have the attention of voters across the state as the heavily conservative district already has five Republican contenders, including fellow State Senator Mike Moon who announced his bid the same week as Burlison.
However, the Springfield native doesn’t seem too worried about the crowded primary and urged voters to look at his voting record compared to others in the race as an example of his staunch conservative values.
“If you look at my record, it’s a combination of not compromising who I am and what I stand for, but at the same time I’ve been successful at winning my colleagues over and getting very big issues done,” Burlison said. “I’m the only one in the race that can say that.”
He noted his stellar ratings with multiple political action committees including a perfect 100% rating from Club for Growth and a 97.47% rating with the American Conservative Union. Burlison has also received endorsements from Club for Growth, the House Freedom Fund and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
“I don’t just go [to Jefferson City] and push a button to vote,” he said. “If you look at my record, I’ve taken on and sponsored the most challenging, yet conservative, game changing pieces of legislation in Missouri’s history.”
Some of the conservative legislation Burlison has championed in the past include Right to Work, constitutional carry, Stand Your Ground law, lifetime conceal and carry permits, the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) and several deregulation policies.
If elected, Burlison promises to fight against federal dollars funding the teaching of Critical Race Theory, to prioritize appropriate funding for border security and national defense and to put fiscal restraints on Congress’ “unnecessary” spending.
A member of the Senate Conservative Caucus, Burlison serves as chairman of the Small Business and Industry Committee and as vice-chairman on the Professional Registration Committee, among several other committees he’s a member of.
The State Senator also criticized the Biden administration on various topics including the “botched” Afghanistan withdrawal, vaccine mandates and the border crisis and called the administration the “height of hypocrisy”.
“[The Biden Administration] just has this absolute arrogance that they believe they know how everybody ought to live their life better than the individual,” he said. “These are people who want to tell you and I that we can’t have a firearm to defend ourselves and our rights, but they’re going to leave behind $80 billion in top notch military equipment to people that hate us.”
Burlison described CD 7 as full of blue collar, hard working families that prefer as little government interference in their lives as possible and promises to fight for them against the “tyrannical” administration.
“[CD 7] is a district where people want to work hard and they want the government to stay out of their lives,” he said. “They want to be proud of their own production and they want to take care of their neighbor.”
“I’ve been fighting a tyrannical government my entire career and to give more rights back to the individual. I’ve been able to be successful fighting at the state level, but it’s gotten to be the worst we’ve ever seen at the federal level. I’m ready to take the fight directly to D.C. to fight these tyrannical people.”
The full slate of Republican challengers include Aubrey Richards, Derral Reynolds, Sam Alexander, Moon and Burlison. The primary election will take place on Aug. 2, 2022.