Jim Evans

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Congressman Billy Long is facing a slew of challengers in the August primary election for Missouri's 7th Congressional district.   And something unusual is happening in that race:  Republicans and Democrats who want Long’s seat are teaming up to host a series of forums together. 

On Saturday, they held a second forum at The Library Station in north Springfield.

Jim Evans / Facebook

A previous contender for Missouri's 7th Congressional seat is running again—this time for a different party. 

Republic resident Jim Evans ran as a Democrat against Republican Congressman Billy Long in 2012 and 2014.


But this year he’s running as a Republican.  Evans officially registered as a candidate last week in Jefferson City.  

"I don't even consider it a switch," Evans told KSMU. "I'm an independent-minded, middle of the road person. I've spent most of my life voting Republican."

Springfield City Utilities

Solar power, a clean energy alternative that converts sunlight into electricity using photoelectric cells, is gaining popularity here in the Ozarks. KSMU’s Tom McFarland spoke with some consumers and providers of the service to learn more about its costs and benefits.

While many individuals that are going solar may hire a company to install the panels for them, Jim Evans did it himself.

“I did not hire these put in, I went ahead and purchased the collectors and I did all the installation myself, which made it very inexpensive for me,” says Evans.

Billy Long Elected to Third Term in Congress

Nov 4, 2014
via KSMU archives

Representative Billy Long is going back to Washington. Unofficial finals on Tuesday night show the Republican incumbent received more than 63 percent of the vote to retain his 7th congressional district seat. KSMU’s Anna Thomas reports.

“Anything over 50 percent makes me happy,” Long said.

This will be Long’s third term in office, and his second defeat of Jim Evans. The Democrat received more than 30 percent of the vote in 2012, earned just 29 percent of the votes on Tuesday. Evans said he didn’t think he’d win, but had hoped for higher numbers.

Photo courtesy of Congressman Long's website

Congressman Billy Long says he’s invested in working in the counties of the 7th district rather than campaigning. The Republican representative has faced criticism in recent weeks for declining to debate his opponents. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann spoke with Long and his two challengers ahead of next month’s general election.

Long says congressional duties come before those of his campaign.