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New rep Long will have to sell auction business

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Newly elected U.S. Rep. Billy Long will have to sell his auction company because of a regulation in the U.S. House of Representatives Code of Official Conduct.

Long, a 31-year auctioneer and owner of Billy Long Auctions LLC, won U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt’s 7th District Congressional seat.

Because his business is considered fiduciary, Long cannot hold the office of U.S. Representative and own the business simultaneously.

Long was among 20 small-business owners elected to Congress on Nov. 2, according to Washington, D.C.-based National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Long defeated Democrat Scott Eckersley and Libertarian Kevin Craig for the seat held by Blunt, who won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Kit Bond.

Long learned in January that he’d have to sell the business if he won.

"That’s what they told me originally. The ethics people, I spent four days working with them last January and they said that I would,” Long said. “We’ll find out exactly what that means next week.”

He’ll learn more on a visit this week to Washington, D.C., for orientation, Long said.

"We’re going out there Saturday and they go over all of your holdings and companies and tell you what you have to sell and don’t sell, but it’s considered a fiduciary business and they told me I would have to liquidate it,” Long said.

As for potential buyers, Long said he’ll talk with those interested.

Long said he has thought about his company’s worth and the amount he’ll seek, but declined to disclose either.

While he isn’t looking forward to it, Long maintains that his convictions for seeking the seat outweigh having to sell his business.

"Oh, definitely – we have to change the course of this country and we have to get a business mentality up there,” Long said. “You can’t tax your way to prosperity and legislate and regulate your way to prosperity, and you can’t force people to do things that they don’t want to do like buy health insurance, so yes, it was definitely the right decision to run.”

Read more coverage in the Nov. 15 Springfield Business Journal.
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