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On Monday, an anti-abortion organization, Missouri Right to Life held a press conference to announce its endorsement of local businessman Billy Long for the seventh Congressional District. KSMU’s Justin Lux was there and has the story.
As the race for the seventh district begins to take shape before the August primary election, Missouri Right to Life has put its stamp of approval on one candidate.Dave Plemmons, the chairman of Missouri Right to Life’s Political Action Committee, cites Billy Long’s outspoken views on abortion and life science research as two of the reasons for the endorsement.“I know where Billy stands because he has been consistent in his voice, talking about Amendment Two, talking about human cloning, and talking about abortion. He is a viable candidate, in the way of name ID, in the way of fundraising, he is out there working and he has got to be our choice,” Plemmons says. Long is the only candidate in the race that Missouri Right to Life has chosen to support, a decision that Republican candidate and state senator Jack Goodman says was wrong.“You know, obviously I believe Missouri Right to Life made a mistake in this case. I think every candidate in this primary is a pro-life candidate and I think my record is an unblemished pro-life record,” says Goodman. While Billy Long has had no experience as a public office holder, Missouri State University’s Political Science Department head, Dr. George Connor, says many know Long as a former talk radio show host, and as a result, voters already know a good bit about him.“Billy Long, for his public career, in terms of the radio program, has had a very strong pro-life track record. He was known to refer to Planned Parenthood as Planned Murder on the radio program. So I think he has enough public credentials, with respect to Pro-Life, that they could go ahead and endorse him,” Connor says. Planned Parenthood is an organization that aims to improve women’s health through screenings and health exams, and it also supports abortion rights.
According to Long, even though he may not have any experience holding a public office, he says his reputation within the community is a major reason to trust him.Long says he became interested in running for office when he realized the system needed a change.
Long is one of eight Republicans who are set to face off in the August 3rd primary. There are two candidates in the democratic primary.For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.