A Missouri House committee on congressional redistricting will take public testimony on Thursday morning in Jefferson City from residents who live in southwest Missouri’s Seventh Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) speaks to frontline health care workers at Mercy Joplin on February 2, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Congressman Long’s Twitter page)

The Republican stronghold includes Springfield, Joplin, Branson, Carthage, Bolivar and the communities around Table Rock Lake.

In-person and written testimony will be accepted Thursday morning at 8. House Special Committee on Redistricting Chairman Rep. Dan Shaul (R-Imperial) says the committee wants information from residents about the district’s characteristics, including things that make it good and bad.

U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-Springfield) has represented the district since 2011. Long is now in his sixth term on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Long faced Democratic opponent Teresa Montseny in November, winning the election with 69 percent of the vote. Long received 254,318 votes, to Montseny’s 98,111 votes.

The district hasn’t sent a Democrat to Washington since the late Congressman Charlie Brown, who served two terms from 1957-1960.

Agriculture and transportation are major issues in the district, which includes I-44. The district has also been impacted over the years by flooding and by numerous tornadoes, including the deadly Joplin tornado in 2011. The EF-5 tornado killed 162 people.

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