The threat of rain Thursday pushed the annual Newton County Republican Central Committee Watermelon Feed out of Big Spring Park and into a standing room only crowd in the Lampo Community Center, where citizens were able to hear from GOP candidates in Tuesday's primary elections in contested county, state and federal races.

The threat of rain Thursday pushed the annual Newton County Republican Central Committee Watermelon Feed out of Big Spring Park and into a standing room only crowd in the Lampo Community Center, where citizens were able to hear from GOP candidates in Tuesday's primary elections in contested county, state and federal races.
40th Circuit Court Presiding Judge Timothy opened the proceedings with a prayer for Dist. 159 Sate Rep. Bill Lant of Pineville, who instead of attending the event is recovering in the ICU after a Monday automobile accident. Perigo reported that though unconscious, Lant is expected to make a full recovery.
A recurring theme for the evening was that the upcoming elections in the state and the nation are a turning point for the country.
Before hearing from nine candidates in five statewide races and 15 candidates in six contests for Newton County offices, the crowd listened to its two current federal legislators from the region.
U.S. 7th Dist. Congressman Billy Long pleaded that voters must get a handle of a burgeoning opioids problem in the country which is widespread, as three friends have lost children to the drug in the past 18 months.
Long thanked the crowd for what they do every day while discounting the claims heard by candidates of being Pro Life or for the 2nd Amendment, and warned it is imperative to elect the right president to preserve those rights.
"The person in Washington D.C. that puts the next two to four people on the Supreme Court, that's where those things are decided," he insisted. "You can have every congressman you want and every senator you want fighting for those rights, but the Supreme Court of the United States - so that's why it's vital that we back our candidate."
When Donald Trump was meeting with Republican leaders recently, Long told the GOP presidential candidate in front of everyone that many in the room were not supporting him.

"But they all want to work on these great policy issues, 'We've got to get these to Mr. Trump, we've got to get these great policy plans to Mr. Trump,"' he continued. "And you know what I told them? I said, 'Knock yourselves out boys. You come up with all this good policy and then on January 20 you can walk into the Oval Office and say, 'Here Hillary, we've got some good ideas for you.'"

Long is confident of keeping the House and even adding Senate seats, and urged Republicans to back their team to attain the White House.

When first elected six years ago he was chastised for assembling a legislative team to help determine how to vote in Congress, and was told to simply mirror his votes after Mike Pense, who had a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union.

"So I think the first two presidential decisions that Donald Trump has made have been off the charts," Long boasted. "His list of 11 Supreme Court nominees was fabulous; and his vice presidential pick is a guy that I was told to vote like six years ago."

Long urged the conservative 7th District to turn out huge for the November elections to help the GOP win statewide races.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt first called Nick Myers the best county central committee chairman in Missouri, and then he lauded State Senator Ron Richard of Joplin, the Missouri Senate President Pro Tem, for achieving that position after transforming from the Speaker of the House.

"Nobody in the history of our state has held both of those jobs, the two most important legislative jobs in Missouri, and our friend Ron Richards holds those jobs and leads in such an important way," Blunt proclaimed.

Lt. Peter Kinder is the only Republican elected statewide official, and Blunt, who is the only other  Republican elected by a statewide vote, said this is the time to do something about that.

"It shouldn't take two-thirds of the General Assembly to get important things done for the future of the state," he exhorted. "A majority and a Republican governor can make a huge difference."

It's very important for the party to come together after Tuesday's primaries, as Blunt advised a big difference can be made by electing state officials that reflect the values of the legislature.

"A two-to-one General Assembly in our state, with the right team surrounding them in state offices, can change the future of this state," he demanded. "There are great opportunities out there."

World food demand will double in 35 to 40 years, and Blunt said no one is better than the U.S. in producing food, which will be twice as big of an economy as it is now.

"We need to be thinking, 'How do we maximize that? How do we add food processing to production agriculture? How do we make our transportation system work so we're the most competitive country in the world, and we're the most competitive part of the most competitive country in the world? What do we do to have more jobs and less government? he asked. "The biggest obstacle to good paying jobs in America today is out-of-control regulators."

The only way to undo the damage done by Obamacare to health care and a foreign policy that no one understands, and put the control on regulators, is by electing Trump, Blunt maintained.

Blunt must check his cell phone and a "fit bit" that can send messages before entering the "totally protected" room where the Senate Intelligence Committee meets. A foreign spy could walk by him and seize control of the "fit bit," and he said he finds it amazing that the U.S. Secretary of State thinks she can take the same type of information and run it thorough an unprotected server in her home.

It's unlawful to willingly provide confidential information, but Blunt appealed that the law also guards against negligence with that information. "Suddenly we've got somebody running for president who couldn't pass a background check to go to work for the federal government," he claimed. "And people ought to take this seriously because she didn't take it seriously."

America's friends no longer trust us, our enemies are not afraid of us in a dangerous world, when Blunt stated the number one job of the federal government is to defend the country. He called this a critically important time, and urged everyone to ensure they return to the polls in November.

"The country hangs in the balance," Blunt asserted. "We are an exceptional country with exceptional opportunities and we need to be sure that we get back to who we were rather than who they think we ought to be."