Missouri’s 8th District US Representative Jo Ann Emerson submitted her letter of resignation to Governor Jay Nixon and House speaker John Boehner today. The 8th district includes 27 of the state’s south-east and south-central counties. Now, Nixon must call for a special election to fill out the remainder of Emerson’s term.
An April special election is unlikely. 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. She says,
“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. We don’t want to disenfranchise anyone just to get someone in office faster.”
Abram-Oldham says the earliest possible date would be sometime in June. The 8th Congressional District party committees will select each party’s candidate for the election in the heavily Republican southern Missouri district. The Republicans will vote on their candidate on February 9.