Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson officially resigned on Tuesday morning. She submitted her letter of resignation to Governor Jay Nixon and House Speaker John Boehner.
Governor Nixon set a special election for June 4.
“I am honored to serve the people of the Eighth Congressional District since 1996. They are an outstanding example of the very best our American communities have to offer: smart, strong citizens who are always ready to lead,” Emerson said in a written statement. “At a time when the popularity of Congress hovers in the single digits, it has never been more important for us to instill their virtues in our elected representatives. Congress is the branch of government closest to the people. We must strive to make it representative of us and our national desire to accomplish great things together.”
Under Missouri state law the state needs at least 10 weeks to set up an election but Missouri Secretary of State spokesperson Liz Abram-Oldham says federal law requires closer to 120 days.
“And that’s just to make that our military personnel, and especially military personnel overseas, and any other Missouri citizens who would be affected by this vote that are overseas, do have the opportunity,” Abram-Oldham said. “We don’t want to disenfranchise anyone just to get someone in office faster.”
Emerson had served Missouri’s 8th Congressional District since 1996. District party committees will select their nominees to run in the special election in the heavily Republican district. Peter Kinder, Lloyd Smith, Sarah Steelman, Todd Richardson and Jason Smith are among a group of thirteen Republicans who are vying for their party’s nomination.
Below is the text of Representative Emerson’s resignation letters to Gov. Nixon and Speaker Boehner.