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Springfield politicians switch up 2018 campaign plans

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Lincoln Hough’s switch to the 30th District state Senate seat race set off a flurry of changes among Springfield politicians.

Hough, who’s currently a Greene County commissioner, previously announced plans to run for the 20th District seat held by Republican Sen. Jay Wasson. This morning, he announced he’ll instead seek the 30th District seat currently held by Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield. Both Dixon and Wasson are terming out next year.

“I have reached out to others looking at running and received their support for my decision. I hope my actions will strengthen the party and create greater party unity,” said Hough, who’s running as a Republican, in a news release.

Three other locals who previously expressed interest in the 30th District seat endorsed Hough’s campaign.

Sun Solar LLC CEO Caleb Arthur dropped out of consideration and Rep. Sonya Anderson moved to instead finish her term in the House. Rep. Kevin Austin previously announced he wouldn’t run for the 30th District seat or for another term in the House, said Veritas Public Relations owner Miles Ross, who issued Hough’s news release.

Arthur announced his candidacy during a July 22 Greene County Republican Party event.

In a statement, Arthur cited his growing family and business, which recently topped local companies on the annual Inc. 5000 fast-growth list with $24.5 million in 2016 revenue and three-year revenue growth of 1,100.4 percent. Sun Solar ranked 397th on the list, down from 156th in 2016. Arthur said he and his wife Rachel are now expecting their fifth child.

“I promised my wife when I started my business and again when I launched my campaign that our family would always come first,” Arthur said in the statement. “We prayed about the challenges of running a demanding business, running a strong campaign, and being the father and husband I promised I would be.

“As I step aside to support my family and my employees, I believe our community is blessed to have a strong conservative like Lincoln Hough step up and enter the 30th District Senate race.”

Anderson, who last year was re-elected to the 131st District seat in the state House of Representatives, said she would work with Hough as a representative for the state rather than a senator.

“Unity in our party is very important to me,” she said in the release. “With Lincoln willing to run, I will continue with what my plan has been all along, to finish my term in the House and look for other ways to serve my community here at home.”

With Arthur, Anderson and Austin out, Hough is slated to face off against Democrat Charlie Norr, a former member of the House.

In his July report to the Missouri Ethics Commission, Norr disclose more than $15,000 in cash on hand. Hough reported nearly $191,000 in his most recent report. The MEC website still lists Hough’s campaign for the 20th District.

Hough previously announced plans to run for the 20th District seat in June, setting up a primary race against former colleague Eric Burlison.

Burlison also endorsed Hough in his switch to the 30th District seat.

“The GOP needs a proven and effective candidate to retain this seat in 2018. Lincoln is smart and works hard, and he will be a strong advocate for the citizens of Springfield in the Missouri Senate,” Burlison said in the release. “I look forward to working with Lincoln to ensure our region has a strong, unified, conservative voice for more jobs, limited government and family values.”

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