JEFFERSON CITY — Voters in southeast Missouri are choosing a new U.S. House member after 32 years of representation by the Emerson family.
A special election Tuesday in the 8th Congressional District features Republican state Rep. Jason Smith, of Salem; Democratic state Rep. Steve Hodges, of East Prairie; and candidates from the Libertarian and Constitution parties.
The winner will succeed Republican Jo Ann Emerson, who resigned in January to take a job as of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Emerson had held the seat since 1996, when she won a special election to succeed her late husband, Bill Emerson. He first won election to Congress in November 1980.
The 8th District spans 30 counties, from the outer St. Louis suburbs south to the Bootheel and west to the Ozarks of south-central Missouri.