Springfield auctioneer and former radio host Billy Long said he's definitely running for Roy Blunt's U.S. House seat in 2010.
In an interview from Washington D.C. Monday afternoon, Long said he spent the day in the nation's capitol in meetings and to pick up paperwork from the Federal Election Commission. Long said he had meetings with the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Federation of Independent Business and Congressman Roy Blunt.
"I'm definitely running. It's been a full day. I'm getting different ideas from different people about how to best set up my organization and start raising money. I'm getting lots of advice, and the consensus is to start at home now, and start raising money," Long said.
Long said he's had several people wanting to donate to his effort and "that's why I want to file soon." "I want to get ahead of the pack," Long said.
"I'm not going to have the support of the central party, the Republican operatives. It's going to be a grass-roots campaign, but I've got good name recognition in Greene County, and the person who is strongest in Greene County will have a leg up," Long added. "I bring a business acumen to the race. I'm somebody who's run a small business for 30 years. We need to get new blood in Washington. These jobs have evolved into full-time, lifetime politicians jobs and one-third of them are attorneys."
When asked about his potential opponents, Long surprisingly took a shot at Nixa Alderman Kevin Elmer, who has told The Notebook, he's very certain he'll launch a 7th District bid:
"You look at that Alderman down in Nixa running. Guess what? He's an attorney. We need to get new blood."
There are a slew of potential candidates for the 7th District including: Sen. Jack Goodman, Hal Donaldson, Nixa Alderman Kevin Elmer, Rep. Shane Schoeller, Rep. Jay Wasson, Rep. B.J. Marsh and Sen. Gary Nodler.
Long will be a guest on the Jim Bohannon Show tonight at 10 p.m. CST