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After weeks of speculation that he would enter the race, State Sen. Greg Evers has filed to run for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Jeff Miller.

Campaign officials filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend. A formal announcement is expected at a press conference tomorrow.

Miller has represented Florida’s first congressional district, which encompasses six counties in Northwest Florida, since 2001. He announced last month that he would not seek reelection.

Evers, 60, is the latest of nearly a dozen candidates that have filed for the race or announced their candidacies. A Republican, Evers joins a crowded primary field which includes State Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rebekah Johansen Bydlak, Cris Dosev, Brian Frazier, John Mills, and Mark Wichern.

A farmer from the small town of Baker, Fla., Evers has served in the state legislature since 2001. A recent poll fielded by advocacy group “Citizens for a Just Government” showed Evers leading the congressional race at 23.4 percent. Gaetz ranked second with 13.2%, while Frazier, Dosev, and Wichern each registered in single digits.

Known as a stalwart advocate for gun rights, Evers holds a lifetime A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.

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