In this feature, we put five questions before Missouri’s 7th Congressional District candidates. Twelve candidates are vying for the seat held by Billy Long, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Roy Blunt. Wasson, Burlison and Bryant did not return multiple requests for comment. Read the full article at The Joplin Globe here.
Q: What is your strategy for town halls, public forums or regular communication to hear from residents of the 7th District?
A: First, I or my staff will respond when constituents call, email or write in. I believe that is a key component of being a good representative and something we can’t say we receive from our current congressman. Second, I always try to make my time available to constituents. Currently, I host Coffee With the Candidate events at local coffee shops; if elected, those would continue on as Coffee With Your Congressional Representative. I’ve attended events and canvassed in every county and will hold town halls in each county annually. I would also continue to speak to civics and careers classes in public schools across the district — we need to encourage young people to be engaged with the political system. I will meet with local leaders, chambers of commerce, farmers, truckers and a wide variety of constituencies. This is more than a full-time job, it is a full-time commitment to the people of Southwest Missouri. To represent people well, you must listen to them. As your congressman, I will always keep my mind open to new perspectives while ensuring constituents have the ability to share their thoughts.