Read the full article from the Branson Tri-Lakes News here.
All of the candidates for the race to replace Billy Long as the Republican candidate in the 7th Congressional District faced off Saturday March 5, in Springfield as part of Greene County’s Lincoln Days.
The debate featured all seven candidates: State Senators Eric Burlison and Mike Moon; former State Senator Jay Wasson; Dr. Sam Alexander; Pastor Alex Bryant; Audrey Richards; and Paul Walker.
The candidates were allowed open and closing statements, and were given one individual question along with a set of group questions everyone was to answer. The candidates kept the event civil, without any personal attacks on the others, or very much disagreement on the issues.
The candidates were asked about whether they felt the 2020 election contained fraud and most every candidate indicated there was at least some level of fraud.
A term limits question brought out some mixed responses, with Alexander and Bryant explicitly limiting themselves to 10 years in Congress, and most others saying they support them. Moon said the Constitution provides term limits already; voters would just need to vote out an incumbent.
Audrey Richards opposed her fellow candidates in saying she was not in favor of term limits.
“The only thing worse than a professional politician is an amateur politician who doesn’t know what they’re doing,” Richards said. “If you don’t know how to play the game, you can’t develop the relationships you need to succeed.”
Richards alluded to her experience both in school and working for the federal government in Washington, and said Jefferson City and Washington are “apples and oranges” when it comes to how you get things done.
The question which drew the most difference was a question about the candidate’s view of America’s greatest current threat.
Richards focused on the national debt, saying the government “can’t afford the interest in the things the government has already done.” She went on to question why the federal government should keep being able to spend into debt when business owners can’t do it.