Rep, Jo Ann Emerson steps down from congressional seat


Reporter- Briana Conner
Photographer- Randall Barnes

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI— One local United States Representative, who won her district in a landslide less than a month ago, is already on her way out. Monday, Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson announced she's leaving Capitol Hill.   

The moderate republican has represented the 8th district for the past 16 years. That area includes cities in the Local6 viewing area like Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, and Charleston.

According to her website, Emerson plans to leave The House of Representatives this coming February. She'll then take over as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to advocate for rural communities through out the US.

The district Emerson leaves behind will have a special election to find someone to fill her seat.
Eighth Congressional District Committee Member Wayne Bowen says the Democratic and Republican parties in the area will choose nominees without using primaries.

Local politicians in the area say Emerson will be missed. Poplar Bluff Mayor Ed DeGaris released a statement saying, "I'm surprised to hear it. She was proactive and hands on in our area, and a real asset to the citizens and the community."

Charleston Mayor Michael Jones tells us in a statement, "I personally hate to see her go.
She has been good for Charleston and Southeast Missouri in general."

Emerson first took office in 1996. She replaced her husband, longtime Republican Congressman Bill Emerson, after he died of lung cancer.