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Open US House seats draw large field of Missouri Republicans

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Aspiring Republican candidates are jumping at two open Missouri U.S. congressional seats.

Voters will pick from dozens of GOP candidates during a primary Tuesday that likely will determine Missouri's next two U.S. representatives. Republican U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long are running for U.S. Senate.

That leaves the central 4th Congressional District and southwestern 7th Congressional District seats open. Republicans dominate Missouri politics. Longtime Missouri GOP political consultant John Hancock says there are more ambitious Republican candidates than there are open seats.

Dozens of state senators and other local GOP elected officials are taking advantage of the rare opportunity to run for Congress without the hurdle of battling an incumbent.

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