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Jim Evans switches parties to again challenge Billy Long

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Jim Evans again plans to challenge incumbent Rep. Billy Long for the District 7 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This time, however, he plans to do so as a Republican, after twice losing to Long in 2012 and 2014 as a Democrat, according to a news release and Springfield Business Journal archives.

“I am making a radical swing to the center,” Evans said in the release, noting his focus on running a “transpartisan” campaign, referring to those who seek to blend standard Democratic and Republican ideologies.

Evans intends to file his candidacy March 8 and host a public forum on March 10 at DoubleTree by Hilton, 2431 N. Glenstone Ave., according to the release.

A dairy farmer and former teacher, he also said he would run as a freelance, self-funded candidate to keep him from being “influenced.”

Evans is among three other Republicans planning to compete against Long in the August primary election. Two Democrats also have signed up, according to Missouri secretary of state election records.

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