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Missouri Republicans Choose Jason Smith for Congress

Posted: Feb 9, 2013 9:58 PM by Associated Press
Updated: Feb 9, 2013 11:12 PM

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VAN BUREN, Mo. - Missouri Republicans have chosen a young state lawmaker promising a "fresh approach" as their candidate to replace former Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.

Jason Smith won the nomination Saturday after several rounds of voting by an 84-person Republican committee. He is the speaker pro tem of the Missouri House.

At age 32, Smith would be one of the younger members of Congress. He pledged to "bring a fresh approach" to conservative policies without trying to "yell the loudest."

Missouri's 8th Congressional District is one of three vacant seats in the nation, but it's the only one where party leaders - not voters - are choosing the candidates. Democrats will select their nominee next weekend.

Emerson resigned Jan. 22 to lead a national association for rural electric cooperatives.

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VAN BUREN, Mo. - Republican Party leaders from southeast Missouri are gathering at a popular river resort to nominate a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

An 86-person committee was scheduled to meet Saturday in rural Van Buren to pick one of 10 potential candidates to run in the 8th District. Whoever gets the nod will immediately become the front-runner in a June 4 special in the Republican-leaning district.

Democrats will pick their candidate next weekend.

The Missouri congressional seat is one of three vacant in the nation, but it's the only one where party leaders -- not voters -- are picking the candidates.

Emerson resigned Jan. 22 to lead a national association for rural electric cooperatives. Missouri's 8th District had been represented by either Emerson or her late husband since 1981.

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