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Joelle Cannon, a Capitol Hill staffer and prominent economic conservative in southwest Missouri, is opting out of a bid for Missouri’s 7th congressional district.

“While I feel strongly I could win a tough campaign and be a bold and fresh voice for our community in the halls of Congress, I determined it is not the best time for my family to take on the time commitment that comes with public service,” Cannon said. “I have been in the trenches of the fight for a balanced budget for nearly two decades and will continue to be, I am hopeful our party and our leaders will begin to take seriously the avalanche of debt being passed on to our children before it’s too late.”

Cannon conferred with U.S. Senate members and received support from multiple conservative groups before ultimately deciding not to run for office this time. She touted a focus on federal spending, free speech, and abortion in her messaging for a potential candidacy.

Cannon has ample experience on Capitol Hill; she serves as district director for Senator Roy Blunt and has also worked on the staff of then-Congressman Mike Pence and the late Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. She co-wrote Coburn’s annual Wastebook, a report on federal spending, along with other budget and tax reports.

Cannon now works as director of government relations for Liberty Utilities and is a budget lecturer with Johns Hopkins University. She is a Springfield resident.

Cannon would have faced off against a growing gauntlet of contenders for the seat, including state Sens. Mike Moon and Eric Burlison. Former Speaker Elijah Haahr opted out of the contest last month.

Missouri’s 7th congressional district, which spans the southwest corner of the state and includes both Branson and Springfield, is up for grabs with Congressman Billy Long joining the race for Blunt’s spot in the U.S. Senate. Long has represented the district for the past decade.

Long joined a crowded Republican primary with Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, former Gov. Eric Greitens, and attorney Mark McCloskey.

Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.

Contact Cameron at cameron@themissouritimes.com.

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