Missouri Republican will leave Congress
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Less than a month after cruising to a new term in Washington, Republican Jo Ann Emerson announced on Monday she is leaving her southeastern Missouri congressional district to become the leader of an organization for rural electric cooperatives.
Emerson said she plans to step down from Congress in February just after her next term begins and will be the president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She is expected to assume her new post on March 1 at the organization, which represents more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives.
“I am not leaving Congress because I have lost my heart for service. To the contrary, I see a new way to serve,” Emerson said. “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.”
Emerson, 62, won office in 1996, replacing her husband, longtime Republican Congressman Bill Emerson, after he died of lung cancer in June 1996. She ran simultaneous campaigns as a Republican in the special election to finish her husband's term and as an independent in the general election for a new term. She has won re-election since then, and an Emerson has represented the district since 1981.
Several Missouri Republicans expressed interest in possibly seeking to succeed her. A special election date will be set by the governor after Emerson steps down, and congressional party committees will select the candidates for that contest.
Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and state lawmaker Kevin Engler said Monday they have interest in the seat.
Smith worked 28 years for Jo Ann or Bill Emerson, serving as chief of staff for both. He said he has received numerous messages encouraging him to seek the nomination.
“I am humbled by this unsolicited support and will carefully consider this opportunity to continue serving the people of the 8th District,” he said.
Steelman was elected treasurer in 2004. She lost this summer in a competitive GOP primary for the U.S. Senate and in the 2008 primary for governor.
Engler of Farmington served in the Missouri House and later was the majority leader in the state Senate.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Pirates must pay for Mr. Right
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Coyotes proliferate despite year-round hunting
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Baby Penguins notebook: Goalie Murray on historic run of success
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expected to confront Obama on Iran
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Kentucky senator Paul’s outside-the-Beltway thinking draws voters
- Rabies clinic for dogs, cats set for Saturday in Uniontown
- Retired teacher pushes black history forward at Peoples Library presentation