Chad Livengood of the Springfield News-Leader examined what could be one of the most-watched races in the 2010 election cycle: the Republican primary for Missouri's Seventh Congressional District.
The district could become vacant if U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Strafford, runs for the U.S. Senate. And Livengood reported that seven Republican candidates could jump into the mix. The potential candidates include:
- Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon
- Billy Long, an auctioneer from Springfield
- Former Rep. B.J. Marsh, R-Springfield
- Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin
- Carthage resident John Putnam
- Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Willard
- Rep. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City
As Livengood noted, a person grabbing 20 percent of the vote could prevail in a seven-way primary. It will be worth watching to see if either a Springfield candidate or a Joplin candidate can extend their vote total beyond their home base. Another thing to look out for is Goodman's potential to scoop up the other counties that make up the district.
Like any contest for a vacant congressional seat, fundraising is going to be a key factor in distinguishing serious candidates. In a seven-person race that is likely to divvy up traditional Republican fundraising sources, a candidate who can self-finance might be able to gain a foothold in the Springfield and Joplin television markets.