Emerson's Retirement Could Force Taxpayers to Pay For Special Election

5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Friday, December 07 2012 Dec 7, 2012 Friday, December 07, 2012 4:03:00 PM CST December 07, 2012 in News
By: Danny Spewak
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Jo Ann Emerson's decision to retire Monday from the U.S. House of Representatives means Missouri's 8th District will need to hold a special election to fill her vacant seat.

The timing of her decision could cost Missourians hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars.

Emerson (R-Mo), who won re-election a month ago but now plans to retire in February, could leave counties in the 8th District scrambling if Gov. Jay Nixon chooses not to put the election on the April 2013 ballot. If he schedules the election for another date, each county would need to hold separate elections with only one ballot issue and pay for the costs of ballot printing, election judges, polling locations, absentee ballots and other expenses.

Emerson's 8th congressional district in Missouri includes 27 counties in the southeast portion of the state, and several county clerks offered rough estimates Friday for the cost of a separate special election. The state of Missouri reimburses each county for the elections, but the money ultimately falls on taxpayers across the state, no matter the congressional district. In larger counties such as Phelps and Cape Girardeau, the total cost could approach six figures combined. Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett estimated a cost of $65,000 to $75,000 for a non-April special election, and Joey Keys in Cape Giradeau County estimated a similar total ranging from $60,000 to $65,000. 

In Dent County, which consists of about 15,000 people, Angie Curley estimated a special election could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. 

The constitution grants Gov. Nixon the power to schedule a special election. Press Secretary Scott Holste said the governor has no timetable on that decision, and he said a "number of things" factor into whether to hold an election in April or at another time. He would not specifically comment on whether Gov. Nixon would consider the cost of county elections in his decision. 

KOMU 8 News contacted Jo Ann Emerson's office in Washington, D.C., and the office referred us to the email of a media contact. Jeffrey Connor declined to comment on possible costs of a special election for Emerson's seat.

"The special election will be set by the Governor of Missouri," Connor said in the email.

Emerson announced she will accept a position as president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. According to OpenSecrets.org, NRECA is the largest contributing organization to Emerson's campaign fund since she joined Congress in 1996.

Emerson, who turned 62 in September, is now also eligible to collect a full and immediate pension under the Federal Employees' Retirement System. Federal employees of at least 62 years of age may collect the pension if they have five years of service. At age 50, employees become eligible for full and immediate pension with 20 years of service. 

Connor said Emerson's pension was not a factor in her decision to retire. 

Several county clerks gave KOMU 8 News rough estimates for special election costs in the 8th-district congressional race. If Gov. Nixon schedules that election on the April 2013 ballot, the figures will drop significantly. Some clerks were either out of the office on Friday or not comfortable giving figures yet, but here's a list compiling estimates from several county clerks. The list varies significantly depending on county population.

Cape Girardeau County: $60,000 to $65,000

Carter County: $10,000

Dent County: $10,00 to $12,000

New Madrid County: $27,000 to $30,000

Oregon County: $7,000

Perry County: $20,000

Phelps County: $65,000 to $75,000

Reynolds County: $15,000

Washington County: $10,000 to $15,000

Wayne County: $30,000

Wright County: $15,000

 

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City Power & Light is warning customers it is seeing a dramatic increase in... More >>
11 minutes ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:38:54 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians have mixed feelings about distracted driving, according to a Town Square survey by KOMU 8 News. ... More >>
19 minutes ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:31:00 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
UNION (AP) — An inmate has escaped from an eastern Missouri jail where he worked in the kitchen. The... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:08:00 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - A Moberly man who was not arrested until two years after investigators first got reports he was sexually... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:05:00 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
NORMANDY (AP) — A suburban St. Louis school district has suspended a security official accused of using a stun gun... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 9:59:34 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a woman has died on an Alaska Arilines plane that took off from... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 9:27:21 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Miller County sheriff’s deputy Casey Shoemate is being remembered for his great personality and his love for... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:33:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Here are the facts on violent crime in Columbia. For the year of 2017, there were 610... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:25:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A TARGET 8 fact check finds mid-Missouri county jails do not hold inmates charged with marijuana-related offenses in... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:19:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in Top Stories
SEDALIA - Sexual assault survivors said a march in Sedalia Tuesday sent an important message. Kimber Gish said, “I... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 7:54:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Federal health officials announced Tuesday they will be cracking down on the nationwide sale of Juul e-cigarettes to... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As prom and graduation seasons approach, underage drinking has become a hot topic in schools and amongst the... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:18:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Opponents of President Donald Trump's environmental policy call his changes to regulations "ludicrous." Professors and scientists gathered... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:09:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The People for Ethical treatment of Animals, PETA, protested Tuesday against animal research on MU's campus. Organizer... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 5:01:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
MISSOURI - A new report from the Violence Policy Center, a non-profit group advocating for gun control, shows that Missouri... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - As prom season begins, Rock Bridge High School said it will be breathalyzing its students upon entry to... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — The legal battle between lawyers from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and St. Louis prosecutors is escalating, with... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 1:19:00 PM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County deputies arrested a man on Monday after he allegedly tried to meet up with who he... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 24 2018 Apr 24, 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 9:01:30 AM CDT April 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
12pm 62°
1pm 63°
2pm 64°
3pm 65°