Whether voters choose a Republican or Democratic ballot in Tuesday’s primaries, they will have a choice to make in the race for the U.S. House seat from the 7th District.
The position has been held by Republicans for decades, most recently by Billy Long. He chose not to seek another term in the House in favor of running in a crowded field for the U.S. Senate seat from which Roy Blunt will retire. The GOP has eight people running for a chance to contest the November general election while the Democrats have three in the Aug. 2 ballot.
The Democratic candidates are John Woodman, Kristen Radaker Sheafer and Bryce Lockwood. The Republicans are Jay Wasson, Eric Burlison, Audrey Richards, Camille Lombardi-Olive, Sam Alexander, Alex Bryant, Paul Walker and Mike Moon.
• Wason, 65, from Nixa, grew up on a farm in Christian County that has been in her family since the Civil War. He graduated in 1974 from Nixa High School, attended Drury University and worked as a property developer.
Wasson served in the Missouri Senate, representing the 20th District, which includes Christian, Douglas, Webster and part of Greene County, until 2019. He also served as mayor of Nixa from 1997 to 2002.
• Bourlison, 45, of Battlefield, is the current state senator for the 20th district and was raised in the Springfield area.
Burlison graduated in 1995 from Parkview High School in Springfield and received his master’s degree in business administration from Missouri State University. He works as an investment advisor for Healthcare LLC, a tax planner and retirement designer with American Tax Strategies LLC, and a process architect for Cerner Inc.
He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2009 to 2016 and was elected to the Senate in 2018.
• Richards, of Kimberling City, was born in Joplin and graduated from Reeds Spring High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2015 from George Washington University and has worked as a nonprofit consultant, sportswriter, and employee of the US Treasury Department.
She works for Children and Screens: Institute of Media and Child Development, a non-profit organization that studies the effects of screen time and media on children 18 and under.
She ran unsuccessfully in 2020 as a written candidate for the 7th District U.S. House position.
• Lombardi-Olive, 63, of Galena, Missouri, was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern politics from Eastern Illinois University.
She ran for the U.S. House seat from the 7th District three times prior to this election.
• Alexander, of Fair Play, grew up on a dairy farm in Dixon and graduated from high school in Vienna.
He went to medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and graduated in 1982. He practiced as an emergency physician in Springfield for over 30 years with Cox Health System.
This is his second bid for public office, having unsuccessfully bid for Missouri House.
• Bryant, 50, from Nixa, was born in Fort Pierce, Florida, and moved to Illinois at age 6 with his family. He graduated from high school in Illinois and earned degrees in business management and biblical studies from Evangel University in 1995 in Springfield.
He is currently a pastor and has his own ministry.
This is his first election.
• Walker, a Springfield native, graduated from Parkview High School and attended Missouri State University and was an honor graduate of the ROTC program. He served 30 years in the US Army, retiring as a Colonel.
Since then, he has taught American history and political science.
• Moon, 63, of Ash Grove, was born in North Carolina.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1985 from Missouri State University and worked in marketing at Mercy Hospital Springfield.
He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2013 until 2021, when he was elected to the Missouri Senate representing the 29th district.
• Woodman, of Springfield, is a father of six and owns a small computer support business in Springfield.
He has lived in Springfield for over 20 years.
• Radaker Sheafer, 34, from Joplin, grew up in northeastern Oklahoma and has lived in southwestern Missouri since 2013.
She currently owns Joplin’s Frosted Cakerie, a business she has operated for six years. She got her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from John Brown University and moved back to Oklahoma for a few years before meeting her husband and moving to Missouri.
• Lockwood, 82, from Strafford, has lived in southwest Missouri since 1978, except for a year in Key West, Florida. Lockwood medically retired from the United States Marine Corps after 13 years in 1973. He also worked as a building contractor foreman and gas station supervisor in charge of over 30 gas stations, and also worked for Exxon. He also owned Lockwood Feed and Grain for over five years and retired from Associated Wholesale Grocers.
He left Florida in 1978 to attend Baptist Bible College in Springfield, where he graduated in 1981, then attended Missouri State University.
This is his first candidacy for public office.