Meanwhile, down in Missouri, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson announced she would resign her seat in February to become president and CEO of the the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
The replacement will be selected in a special House election, but each party’s nominee will be selected by the local party committees: “The Republican nominee will be selected by a committee of 82 GOP officials from southeastern Missouri. The Democratic nominee and any third-party candidates will be selected in a similar way under Missouri’s rules for replacing federal lawmakers who quit before their terms are over.”
Eddy Justice, the chairman of the Republicans’ 8th Congressional District Committee, issued a statement via e-mail:
“In the upcoming months, the 8th Congressional Republican Committee will nominate a candidate to fill the Congressional Seat in Missouri’s 8th District. To this point, there have been a number of qualified individuals that have expressed interest in receiving that nomination. I have been made aware that there has also been some question about whether I would seek that position. The truth of the matter is that I do not have any interest at this time to seek this seat. As chairman of this committee, my desire is that the process we use to determine the nominee be smooth, fair and transparent. This is my focus and I will do everything in my power to make it happen.”
Erin Ragan of The Southeast Missourian complied the extensive list of local officials expressing interest in the seat:
Past challengers and Republicans in offices small and large floated their names as replacements for Emerson on Monday. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Cape Girardeau native, expressed interest, as did Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, whose last bid for office was an attempt at a U.S. Senate seat earlier this year.
State representatives Jason Smith, of Salem, Mo., along with Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Kevin Engler of Farmington, Mo., also floated their names.
Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy was mentioned as a candidate. Cape Girardeau County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Lipke said he’s going to consider putting his name up for nomination, but that he’s not ready to make that decision yet. He’ll need time to pray and consult with family, he said. Late Monday, current state Rep. Wayne Wallingford, who was elected in the August primary to succeed state Sen. Jason Crowell, said he is considering seeking the nomination.
(As many folks on the Right now, Cape Girardeau is Rush Limbaugh’s childhood hometown.)
Whoever is named the GOP nominee will have a good shot of winning the special election and representing the district for a long while. The district scores an R+15 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index and Emerson won with more than 71 percent in 2012.