Congress

Rep. Billy Long’s been ride-or-die for the ex-president who can put him over the top in the Senate GOP primary. But he’s got colorful competition.

Rep. Billy Long displays a tie he had signed by former President Donald Trump during an interview on Capitol Hill. | Burgess Everett/POLITICO

By BURGESS EVERETT

11/28/2021 07:00 AM EST

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Immediately after taping the announcement of his Senate candidacy on Tucker Carlson’s show, Billy Long paid former President Donald Trump a visit. As Long recalls it, Trump was a bit surprised.

“You’re in without my endorsement?” Trump asked the six-term Missouri GOP congressman. Long replied in the affirmative, then quickly explained why that should all change.

During their August meeting at Trump Tower, Long argued to Trump that if Republicans nominate someone other than him to keep retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) seat red, the GOP might have to spend as much as $50 million in the state — money better spent in Arizona and Georgia. Channeling his past as an auctioneer, Long pitched himself as the equivalent of a “three-for-one” sale for Trump.

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