U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson To Retire

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI)-U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson announced Monday that she plans to retire from her congressional seat in February.  She represents the 8th Congressional District in southeastern Missouri, stretching north into Jefferson County and west to include Rolla.

Emerson plans to become the president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative.  She first took office in 1996, replacing her husband, Bill Emerson, after his death.

Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO) released a statement about Rep.  Emerson saying in part, “Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson has represented Southeast Missouri with honor and integrity.   Jo Ann has always been a voice of calm, reason and common sense.”

Two Missouri Republicans, Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, have confirmed interest in succeeding Emerson.

Also, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder issued a statement about his interest in the seat saying.

“I am certainly giving careful thought and consideration to this opportunity to represent the 8th District in Congress. I have long been engaged in federal issues, from the beginning of my career in my hometown of Cape Girardeau heading the first two campaigns for Bill Emerson and working on his staff in Washington to leading the fight against ObamaCare. It would be an honor to serve in Congress. 

While I weigh this decision, I am mindful of the fact I was just re-elected Lieutenant Governor and must consider the people's trust in me to serve in that capacity for the State of Missouri.”