(Photo by Shannon Cay Bowers)
November 2, 2022 Springfield Daily Citizen By David Stoeffler Springfield MO Voting Guide: Free access and everything you need to know in one place U.S. Rep. Billy Long chose to run (unsuccessfully) for U.S. Senate, leaving his 7th District seat in Congress open for the first time in 12 years. State Sen. Eric Burlison is the Republican candidate, having survived a contentious primary. His opponents are Democrat Kristen Radaker Sheafer and perennial candidate Libertarian Kevin Craig.
October 27, 2022 Springfield News-Leader By Galen Bacharier Kristen Radaker Sheafer "grew up in a world of Republicans," by her own telling, with conservative parents and a husband she described as "right-of-center." She wouldn't necessarily call herself a Democrat, either — she prefers independent, and has voted for Republicans in the past — but for this November, she's the 7th district's Democratic candidate. A self-employed baker based in Joplin, Radaker Sheafer launched her campaign in an effort to be an everyday representation of southwest Missouri, "to give voters another option." She beat John Woodman in the Democratic primary, and though exceedingly unlikely to win in the general election (and equally unlikely, she said, to run again), her campaign has given her a chance to learn more about her neighbors and the district, where she's found "more common ground than we think." She's held coffee shop meet-and-greets to have one-on-one conversations with voters across the district. "We need to start looking at the other side like an asset instead of like an enemy," she said in an interview Wednesday. Radaker Sheafer cited several aspects of conservativism — the dominant ideology in a district that strongly favored former President Donald Trump in 2020 — that she respected and agreed with, including gun ownership and de-regulation of small businesses. She, too, is focused on economic issues, saying voters speak most often about inflation and rising prices. Both parties' policymaking have contributed to an environment that relies on "maximizing profits" to the disadvantage of workers and families, she believes, and she hopes to find "the middle of the road" in a personal campaign. "I just wanted somebody that was running for office who was relatable and listened and cared," she said.
October 24, 2022
MEET THE CANDIDATES: Missouri’s 7th Congressional District
October 16, 2022 Springfield News-Leader By Galen Bacharier Eric Burlison (R) vs. Kristen Radaker Sheafer (D) Eric Burlison, a state senator from Battlefield and the Republican nominee, aims to represent southwest Missouri in Congress after U.S. Rep. Billy Long vacated his seat in a failed run for U.S. Senate. Burlison, a member of the former hard-right Conservative Caucus while in the Senate, has run a campaign focused on his legislative accomplishments and ideology that would find him among the most conservative members of the Republican caucus on Capitol Hill. He was one of the lead proponents of a controversial Missouri law that nullifies certain federal gun regulations, as well as more recent proposed legislation that was labeled the "Make Murder Legal Act" by prosecutors. His Democratic opponent, Kristen Radaker Sheafer, is a Joplin business owner who faces an uphill battle in a district that has significantly favored Republicans over the last decade, easily giving Long re-election victories. She's running a campaign focused on making government more accessible and accountable, passing legislation benefiting small businesses and focusing on local solutions in the 7th district.
June 26, 2022 SMALL STEPS FOR PROVIDING HOLISTIC CARE FOR WOMEN By Kristen Radaker Sheafer We knew the decision overturning Roe v. Wade was coming. I have written and rewritten multiple statements since the draft was leaked but nothing ever seemed to feel sincere. My primary desire is to remain true to who I am and what I believe while advocating for the well-being of others, whether or not I agree with them. I want to be fully honest and transparent with voters even if that means losing an election. When deciding to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, my main goal was to be a voice for the district, not an advocate for a political party or to force my personal beliefs on others. Regarding the issue of reproductive rights, my firm belief is that women should be able to choose when and if they have children; that decision should never be made by the government or by anyone wielding power. My belief is also that it is in everyone’s best interest to reduce the number of abortions, a goal that is unlikely to be reached by outlawing the procedure or creating a patchwork of restrictions across the country. We should be working together to have the greatest impact to decrease abortions by working to holistically address the underlying issues. Poverty, abuse, and lack of access to health care are the main factors driving the decisions to end a pregnancy. In a country where we have the resources, creativity, and the drive for innovation, I refuse to accept that putting potentially harmful bans in place is the best solution to the issues of abortion and reproductive rights. Therefore, I would vote to uphold the rights granted in Roe v. Wade to protect the right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus or at any time when necessary to protect the life and health of the mother. Before I dive into my proposed solutions, I want to recognize and condemn that Republican state legislators in Missouri, the state in which I reside, tried to literally slip legislation into their bill that would make it illegal to abort an ectopic pregnancy. I want to make it abundantly clear, there is no world in which you can be pro-life and also make it illegal to obtain care for an ectopic pregnancy – the only outcomes for which are abortion or death. So, in staying true to my campaign slogan “Small Steps for Real Change” let’s talk about some steps I will advocate for as your Congresswoman: • Affordable access to healthcare professionals and birth control, such as IUDs and emergency contraceptives for everyone, including in underserved rural areas. • Improving health outcomes and reducing maternal mortality rates. • Extend the expanded family tax credit that kept 3.7 million children out of poverty in July-December of 2021 and reached more than 61 million children in the U.S. • Comprehensive, age appropriate sex-education in schools • Access to affordable, quality mental healthcare and proven addiction treatment for all. • Guaranteed paid parental leave. • Affordable child care for all families. • Providing support and increasing resources for women seeking to leave abusive relationships and dangerous living arrangements. • Increasing penalties for rape and sexual assault while making reporting safer and easier for victims. These steps are pragmatic solutions that have not only been proven to reduce abortions but also promote the flourishing of families and communities. My proposals may not be the sexy, fiery solutions some desire, but there are so many of us who are willing to put in the work it will most certainly take to achieve better outcomes for all of us.