Missouri rep leaving Congress in February
December 3rd, 2012
11:41 AM ET
1 year ago

Missouri rep leaving Congress in February

(CNN) - U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri will leave Congress in February, the Republican congresswoman announced Monday.

Emerson, who was re-elected to a tenth term in November with 72% of the vote, will become president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

"The people of Southern Missouri have entrusted their voice in Congress to me for 16 years. Serving them is a humbling experience, a great honor and a welcome challenge," she wrote in a statement announcing she was leaving Congress. "Our congressional district is big, it is diverse, and it demands practical representation by someone who places us and our home ahead of politics and partisanship."

"I am not leaving Congress because I have lost my heart for service - to the contrary - I see a new way to serve. 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," she continued.

Emerson represents Missouri's eighth district, in the southeast portion of the state. She was first elected to office in 1996 to succeed her husband Bill Emerson, who died in office. She was also a member of the Congressional Women's Softball Team.

A spokesman from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Emerson "saw the writing on the wall from this election."

"Congresswoman Emerson is the latest moderate Republican to ditch House Republicans, a sign that no moderates are welcome in the Tea Party House Republican Caucus," Jesse Ferguson, deputy executive director at the DCCC, said in a statement.

With Emerson's announcement, two House seats are now subject to special elections. Soon after the November 6 vote, former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois announced he was stepping down from Congress, and the state's governor tentatively set a special election for April 9.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: Missouri
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. 111Dave111

    Sounds like a good seat for another moderate. From a Democrat (Mi), Jo Ann you will be missed.

    December 3, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. California Gary

    Looks like a repeat of the Palin thing.......thanks for electing me, but I feel no obligation to serve my term out if there is better money to be made elsewhere. I owe my allegiance to my bank account, not the good people who put their faith in me at election time. What a great American.........

    December 3, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. The REAL Truth...

    Gee.. the usual Republican approach to quitting.. better offer. Just like Failin' Palin.
    If she intended to step down, why did she waste all that time / effort / $$ that the volunteers put into her campaign. They deserve a better explanation than this.
    Heck, she already has salary and benefits for life – after 16 yrs in Congress – why not move onto something better. To heck with her constituents....

    December 3, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. NameJim Waterman

    If this new opportunity came before the election, shouldn't she pay for the cost of holding the special election?

    December 3, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Wow, people volunteered for this woman, gave her their hard-earned money and less than a month later, she quits?
    We all know this gig was in the works for her when she was running. What a deceptive witch!

    If I'd supported her campaign, I'd want a refund – or better yet, I'd vote for the Democrat who runs to replace her.

    December 3, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    NameJim Waterman

    If this new opportunity came before the election, shouldn't she pay for the cost of holding the special election?
    ----------------
    The names on a ballot are set in stone several weeks prior to election day. This allows time to print and mail absentee ballots, and to enough printed and provisional ballots ready at the polling places. The person should not bear the cost, in my opinion.

    December 3, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. tony

    Another seat for a dem or an independent, we need to get rid of all republicans left, they are not good for this country.

    December 3, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    She should have stepped down BEFORE the election as she definitely knew about this move beforehand. What a loser.....just like Simple Sarah

    December 3, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Jess

    So she got 72% of the vote in her district and then another story says "congress" has a 10% approval rating. People need to understand Congress is operating as designed. When the far left Deomcrats are unwilling to compromise and want to drag the country to the far left, then there will not be much to agree on and little or nothing will get done.

    December 3, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Dem or Rep , it dosn't matter . Just nominate somebody who made it past high school !

    And somebody who in not under investigation !

    December 3, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. A little sad

    California Gary

    "Looks like a repeat of the Palin thing.......thanks for electing me, but I feel no obligation to serve my term out if there is better money to be made elsewhere. I owe my allegiance to my bank account, not the good people who put their faith in me at election time. What a great American........."

    Don't know why she is really leaving, and I am not a Republican, but cut the lady some slack! 16 years in congress is not the same thing as Caribou Barbie not even completing one term as governor.

    December 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. A little sad

    To add to the above – her husband held the seat before her for 16 years. So in a way she was really in Congress for 32 years. Not a slacker.

    I do hope she's replaced by a Democrat. Emerson was an independent until 1996.

    December 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. dickeylee

    She was in the house for 18 years, not 16. And this Rush's home turf, so expect a mouth breather to replace her.

    December 3, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Larry in Houston

    10th Term huh ?? lol – it doesn't matter how much people holler about term limits – it will never happen in this country – Most of the politicians are corrupt anyway – if they weren't before, they soon will be, after being elected, and re-elected a few times. – - – - Anyway, I hope Claire McCasskil finds a good dem to fill this "quitter's" seat. She reminds me of the "quitter" Palin. Guess that's the Republican way .

    As far as term limits goes, the reason that people keep voting the same old people IN, is because of "earmarks" ( short answer) or how much they can "pull in" from the federal gov't .

    December 3, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Ray E. (Georgia)

    What?
    All Republician Policies are Proven Failures? Well, the Republician Plan is for you to Book your own life. You can't do it.It is you who are the failure.

    December 3, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    She will in turn become a lobbyist because she has no qualifications to be CEO of anything.

    December 3, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Ray E(Georgia) wrote:

    ....Well, the Republician Plan is for you to Book your own life. You can't do it.It is you who are the failure.
    ---------------
    Really? If that were true, then why do we need tax cuts to stimulate economic "growth"? Shouldn't people be able to create their own "growth"?

    December 3, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. OBAMACARE is here to stay ladies and gentlemen

    Lmao @ those people volunteered for this woman, gave her their hard-earned money and less than a month later, she quits hahaha that's GOP(Greed Over People) for you.

    December 3, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |