With about 60 days before election day this November, a candidate running for State Representative in Southwest Missouri has decided to suspend her campaign. Democrat and teacher Elizabeth Lundstrum announced that she would suspend her campaign in the 161st District last week to focus on her students and her family during the pandemic. Lundstrum chose Joplin businessman Josh Shackles to take over her spot on the November ballot, and he was unanimously confirmed by local Democratic leadership to take on Republican Lane Roberts.
Earlier this year, Shackles ran for Joplin City council and lost; he’s been outspoken at city council meetings in favor of the cities mask ordinance. Shackles says he’s looking to build common ground between Southwest Missouri residents. Shackles says, “This is a very red area of the state. But I believe that I will be a candidate that can listen to both sides.” He goes on to say that this election isn’t about his personal beliefs but the voices of the community he serves if he is elected. This is the first time that Shackles has run for statewide office.