SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With just days until the November Mid-Term Elections, OzarksFirst sat down with Eric Burlison and Kristen Radaker-Sheafer, the Republican and Democratic nominees respectively, for Missouri’s 7th District.  

The winner would represent a majority of southwest Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“I’m someone who grew up in this community. I was raised on cashew chicken and shopping at Bass Pro.” Burlison, a longtime state lawmaker said. 

“I’m very involved in my community in Joplin. And I do come to Springfield pretty frequently.” Radaker-Sheafer said, who is a political newcomer. 

Both candidates expressed differing opinions on abortion. 

“The moment of conception, it is a completely new human being that has unique DNA that no one else will ever have,” Burlison said. 

“I don’t think anybody wants more abortions. But the access to it is a necessary thing for so many people because of so many health issues.” Radaker-Sheafer added. 

But somewhat similar ideas when it comes to student loan forgiveness. 

“I think that it was probably unwise to announce student debt forgiveness without first addressing the cost of higher education,” Radaker-Sheafer said. 

“I think it’s insane that we would suggest that the federal government can be forgiving students who rack up debts,” Burlison said. 

With election integrity an issue for voters, the two candidates defended their stances on Missouri’s Voter I.D. law. 

“I think that any logical individual would say that the person who is appearing at a voting booth should be able to demonstrate who they are,” Burlison said. 

“I differ from a lot of democrats I’ve talked to, where I don’t have a problem with having to have an I.D. for voting if it helps people trust the system,” Radaker-Sheafer said. 

Plus, with inflation at record-breaking highs, the leading candidates explained how they would improve the economy. 

“I think we should start working our way towards complete energy independence where we can maybe be an exporter of energy and not really have to import a whole lot,” Radaker-Sheafer said. 

“There’s a lot of things that we have that we could do to try to try to release the supply chain, which will help to bring down costs,” Burlison added.