By Josh Lockwood, Joplin Area Field Organizer for Jamie Schoolcraft 

A volunteer firefighter, a National Guardsman, former mayor of Williard, former candidate for State Senate, a physician assistant, a husband, a father, and now, a candidate for U.S. Congress.

Sounds like G.I. Joe, right?

Nope, he’s Jamie Schoolcraft. And he’s running against incumbent Billy Long, a four-term congressman who currently has been heavily campaigning in Las Vegas, far from his congressional district. Billy doesn’t deserve a fifth term from Southwest Missouri. The man for the job is Schoolcraft, and I’m here to tell you why.

Jamie Schoolcraft comes from the heart of Southwest Missouri, in the little town of Bois D’arc. He was raised with and firmly holds the belief that all people — regardless of class, wealth, color, or sex — were created equal and deserved equal rights across the board for workplace opportunities, equal pay, affordable healthcare, and education. It’s Schoolcraft’s principles that disregard Nancy Pelosi’s recent statement that progressive ideals are only subject to big city and metropolitan constituents. Many across the 11 counties here in Congressional District 7 believe that healthcare for all is a right and should be passed immediately, higher education should be affordable or free, and that everyone deserves a living wage. Healthcare is a bipartisan effort amongst many here in CD7, especially since our state house and state senate denied any medicare expansion. Many Missourians have no health insurance and with state legislation being voted on requiring even more work requirements than what is currently in place, even more people are at risk of losing their healthcare.

Below are a few of Schoolcraft’s priorities for Congress. Learn more at www.electschoolcraft.com.

  • “Right to Work” is wrong for Missouri (and America)
  • A Living Wage
  • Healthcare For All
  • Financial Aid Reform
  • Responsible Gun Ownership

Congressional District 7 is compiled of 11 counties and is home to Springfield, Carthage and Joplin. The counties are Barry, Christian, Greene, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, Stone, Taney, and parts of Webster. Jamie beat out three opponents to win the nomination in the primaries. He was endorsed by Justice Democrats which is sponsored by The Young Turks. He was one of two in Missouri and the only one who won his primary to receive this endorsement. 

Southwest Missouri now needs a Congressman who will stand up for us and fight for the forgotten whose voices are hard to hear in Las Vegas. Not only has Long abandoned his constituents, he has done little as a Congressman and has even missed an alarming number of votes in the House. He even has recently co-authored a National Right to Work bill coming off the heels of Prop A losing by a large margin in Missouri. Recently, Billy Long’s big headline fame was when he used his talents as an auctioneer to “sell” a member of the Alt-Right who was protesting a congressional committee meeting to the security guard with the highest “bid.” Later, it revealed that the entire stunt was staged and the protestor was planted. When investigating Facebook in the 2016 Russian Bot Election Probe, he questioned Mark Zuckerberg on his past social media exploits that shamed women. While the questions would’ve been valid in another time and place, the move from Congressman Long was irrelevant and wasted valuable time in investigating Russian interference. Billy Long also has the sole achievement (if you can really call it an achievement…) of being the first Congressman to support and endorse Donald J. Trump for President.

I can continue to give you examples of why Billy Long is horrible, however that would be robbing Jamie Schoolcraft of a proper editorial. As a dedicated former campaign staffer for Gen Williams for Congress, I had a hard time finding any candidate for that seat that I could really get behind. I was invited to meet Jamie at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company. The moment I shook his hand, I knew he was very different than his opponents. Immediately, he wanted to know what my concerns were. After a lengthy conversation with Jamie regarding my issues and my priorities for our district, he finally told me about himself. He didn’t start our talk by touting his resume or telling me why he was the next congressman. He started it by listening to me. Which is exactly how a candidate should act. 

I think our Auctioneering Congressman deserves a retirement. Let’s take the time and effort to elect someone who is not only our friend and neighbor, but a well-qualified candidate. If you want a chance to meet Jamie Schoolcraft, he will be all over the district in the days leading up to the November 6th election including at the Maple Leaf Parade (October 20) and Eleanor Roosevelt Days (Oct 11-12). If you want to help make sure we get Jamie elected, contact myself or Rachel Howard-Cassady, his campaign manager, for opportunities in your area. We are reachable through Jamie Schoolcraft’s Facebook page. Jamie is coordinated with many other campaigns in the area including Claire McCaskill for Senate, Carolyn McGowan for State Senate District 32, Sarah Hinkle for District 162, Elizabeth Lundstrum for District 161, Angela Thomas for District 160.

Make sure you educate yourself on all the candidates and the state amendments on the November ballot. It’s our time. It’s our voice. 

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