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Columbia Missourian

Interest grows among Republicans for Emerson seat

By The Associated Press
December 5, 2012 | 8:21 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A chance to represent southeastern Missouri in Congress is drawing plenty of interest from officials looking at succeeding Republican U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

Emerson announced Monday she is leaving Congress in February after first winning the seat in 1996.

Newly elected state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, of Cape Girardeau, is interested, and state House member Todd Richardson, of Poplar Bluff, is exploring the possibility.

State Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, and Cape Girardeau County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Lipke are considering it.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said he is giving it "careful thought and consideration," and Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith said he will "carefully consider" the opportunity.

Also expressing interest are former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, state lawmaker Kevin Engler and state House member Jason Smith.