Over 95 Southwest Missouri Tea Party members and guests from five surrounding counties attended the first in a series of four political forums on June 4, at the VFW Post 2203 in Shell Knob. Mike Moon and Tom Stilson, each seeking the 7th District seat in the United States House of Representatives, were the guest speakers. Candidates gave brief summaries of their education and qualifications before the forum got underway. Moderators Ed Johnson, of the Barry County Republican Club, and Bruce Ringger, a Tea Party member, asked questions of each candidate alternately, giving each one minute to respond. The other candidate would also have a minute to respond, followed by each having a 30-second follow up. Topics included energy, the economy, tax issues, threats to the country and tests of the candidates' knowledge and commitment. A lightning round of questions followed, with candidates answering only yes or no. All guests had the opportunity to participate in a straw poll, with Stilson taking 79 percent of the votes, Moon taking 20 percent of the votes and incumbent Billy Long garnering one vote. The next event will take place on Monday, June 18, when Senatorial candidates will be the featured speakers.