Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson caught many by surprise with her announcement this week that she is stepping down in February. Emerson has served Southeast Missouri since 1996. Her husband Bill served the district before her for an additional 15 years. And now for the first time in three decades, there will not be an Emerson representing Southeast Missouri on Capitol Hill.
Congresswoman Emerson has been a solid public servant for her constituents. While we don't like the timing of her impending retirement, and we certainly don't like the additional costs of the special election that will follow, we respect her decision and applaud her for her service.
I am told that more than a half-dozen candidates are lining up to seek the 8th District seat; Republicans wanting to hold on to the seat, and Democrats eager for an opportunity to challenge for the post without having to face an Emerson on the ballot. There will not be a primary. Each party will choose a candidate by committee and then we will get our chance to vote for one.
So...a special notice here to the party committees. Send us your best. Send us your brightest, your hardest working candidate. Our country faces serious issues and we need a serious representative to go to Washington and fight for our interests. We deserve no less.
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