2 Republicans confirm interest in SE Mo. seat

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several Missouri Republicans have confirmed interest in succeeding U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson after her planned retirement.

Emerson announced Monday she will leave her congressional seat in February to become the president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman and state lawmaker Kevin Engler, of Farmington, said they have some interest in the seat.

The 8th Congressional District is Republican-leaning and covers southeastern Missouri. It stretches north to include part of Jefferson County south of St. Louis and west to south-central Missouri.

It will be the first time in about 30 years an Emerson has not represented the district in Congress. Emerson first won office in 1996, replacing her husband, Bill Emerson, after his death.

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