JOPLIN, Mo. — The race for Missouri’s 7th Congressional seat is heating up – giving voters a long list of candidates to replace Billy Long.

Action 12’s Gretchen Bolander sat down with Republican Colonel Paul Walker, who highlighted why he’s running and what he wants to change.

“I am running for Congress in the 7th Congressional District,” said Walker.

And retired Colonel Paul Walker sees a lot he wants to change at the federal level, starting with money issues.

“Inflation is a big issue. I have six children and 13 grandchildren and they often tell me how tough it is to balance the family budget because of inflation. But I think it’s pretty simple that we’ve got too much money in circulation, and our president wants to spend more, put more money into the economy. That’s the wrong thing to do. I think we need to stop printing money.”

He disagrees with President Joe Biden’s approach to the Federal Budget, specifically cutting red tape and boosting oil production.

“For some reason, Biden thinks that by stopping the production of oil that’s going to help America but it is not and we send spending billions of dollars overseas every week. For that oil, we can keep that money in the United States and help our economy,” Walker continued.

Walker points to his 30 year career in the Army as the foundation for dealing with the war Russia is waging against Ukraine.

“But I think we need to keep in mind we’re dealing with a crazy man who is very unpredictable. But I think America needs to do something. We’ve got to stand for something. And right now, we’re not doing anything and we’re not really standing for anything and countries around the world are looking to us for leadership. So I would hope as a congressman, I’d be able to do some things to help get some backbone in the Defense Department and also the State Department,” he said.

Walker hopes to attract voters through his experience.

“I have a good education both military and civilian. And I have leadership, and I have a very strong belief in God. And I think you put all those together and it comes down to wisdom. I would bring wisdom to the position of Congressman and do what is best for America,” said Walker.

Colonel Walker is one of eight Republican candidates facing off for the seat in August.

The other seven Republican candidates are:

Sam Alexander
Alex Bryant
Eric Burlison
Camille Lombardi-Olive
Mike Moon
Audrey Richards
Jay Wasson

The Democratic candidates are:

Bryce Lockwood
Kristen Radaker-Sheafer
John Woodman

The Libertarian candidate is Kevin Craig.