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Billy Long goes on tirade against Josh Hawley over Missouri Senate endorsement

Rep. Billy Long (R) is venting his frustration after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) endorsed one of Long’s Republican rivals in the Missouri Senate primary over the weekend.

“#MOSen Hawley is telling reporters he gave me a heads up on endorsement. Josh has my cell number, if he was honorable and wanted to give me a heads up he sure could have done it in person at the breakfast which ended shortly before the endorsement,” Long tweeted on Wednesday. “We stood and visited there.”

Long’s Twitter tirade came a day after he called a Politico reporter to express his annoyance with the Republican senator from Missouri. 

“I’d always considered us to be friends, I’d always supported him, I think a lot of him and his wife and his kids still,” he told Politico in what the news outlet described as an unsolicited phone call on Tuesday morning. “But it’s just disappointing, it very disappointing. Why didn’t he just say, ‘Hey, you’re not raising the money, you’re down in the polls, we need to consolidate, Billy I’m probably going to endorse Hartzler here pretty soon. … I just wish he’d shot straight with me.”

Hawley, a popular conservative in the state who has become one of former President Trump’s most high-profile supporters in the upper chamber, formally endorsed Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) on Saturday.

Long was taken aback by the endorsement, he said, because he had repeatedly asked Hawley if he was planning to endorse Hartzler, and the senator had told him no. 

“I called Josh and I said, Vicky just hired your team, your consultants, does that mean you’re going to be supporting Vicky?’” Long told Politico on Tuesday, referring to the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm OnMessage, which works with both Hawley and Hartzler. 

The congressman said Hawley told him not to read into it. 

Long added that he learned of the endorsement shortly after it was announced while Senate candidates were attending a function in St. Charles.

In his Wednesday Twitter thread, Long said his team was told about the incoming endorsement moments before it happened.

“Heads up he claims he gave me was a voicemail from Kyle Plotkin of OnMessage Josh’s former Chief of Staff to Royce Reding on my team. It was left at 10:03 AM they went live on Facebook at 10:04 AM. I learned of it at approximately 10:20 when a buddy in DC copied a tweet he’d seen,” Long continued. 

“We have the screen shots,” Long concluded. “This is getting surreal and very very sad.”

In a statement to The Hill, Hawley’s office referred to a response Hawley gave to a Kansas City Star reporter.

“Some people take disappointing news better than others,” Hawley told Kansas City Star reporter Daniel Desrochers.

Hartzler and Long are aiming to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is retiring after his current term in the Senate. 

“For almost a year I’ve been asked who I intend to vote for in #MOSEN primary this August. Well, I’ve made up my mind. I’ll be supporting ⁦⁦@VickyHartzlerMO⁩. Vicky has the integrity, the heart, and the toughness to represent MO,” Hawley said in a tweet Saturday. “I can’t wait to work with her.”

In his conversation with Politico on Tuesday, Long said he had no intention of dropping out of the race.

The Hill has reached out to Long’s office for further comment.

This story was updated at 3:59 p.m.

Tags 2022 midterm elections Billy Long Donald Trump Josh Hawley Missouri Roy Blunt

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