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Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson Leaving Congress

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U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson from Missouri’s 8th District has announced that she will resign from the U.S. House of Representatives in February, 2013.

“The people of Southern Missouri have entrusted their voice in Congress to me for 16 years,” Emerson said in a release. “Serving them is a humbling experience, a great honor and a welcome challenge. Our congressional district is big, it is diverse, and it demands practical representation by someone who places us and our home ahead of politics and partisanship. The people of our district demand results, they want us to work together, and they have every right to a representative who works as hard as they do. Every day in Congress, that is my goal.”

Emerson is trading in her congressional seat for the private sector, assuming the role of President and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, where she said she “will continue her advocacy for rural communities in Missouri and throughout the country.”

“I am not leaving Congress because I have lost my heart for service — to the contrary — I see a new way to serve. I did not go seeking this opportunity, but I am excited about the new challenge it offers to find ways to promote strong rural policy.”

The Republican and Democratic committees in the 8th district will select nominees to fill Emerson’s seat and the two will face off in a special election sometime next year.

Among the biggest Republican names being considered for the 8th District seat are Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman. Among the Democrats who may vie for the seat are State Senator Terry Swinger and State Rep. Linda Black.

The district is considered a strongly Republican district and Emerson won handily in November’s election, garnering over 70 percent of the vote. She joined the House in 1996, replacing her late husband Bill. An Emerson has held the district seat since 1981.

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