Today is the last day Emerson, who was elected to a '10th term in the November general election, will serve in Congress as she departs to begin a new job as president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She announced her intent to resign in early December.
"I am honored to serve the people of the Eighth Congressional District since 1996. They are an outstanding example of the very best our American communities have to offer: smart, strong citizens who are always ready to lead," Emerson said in a release. "At a time when the popularity of Congress hovers in the single digits, it has never been more important for us to instill their virtues in our elected representatives. Congress is the branch of government closest to the people. We must strive to make it representative of us and our national desire to accomplish great things together."
A special election to fill the vacancy left by Emerson will be set by Nixon. Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said Friday the election will be called shortly after the governor receives official notice from Emerson.
Below is the text of the letters sent from Emerson to Nixon and Boehner.
I write to inform you that I will resign my seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, effective 11:59 p.m., January 22, 2013.
Serving Missouri's Eighth Congressional District for 17 years has been an incredible honor, a welcome challenge, and a deeply rewarding endeavor. I count myself as incredibly fortunate to have represented Americans who are so passionate about the principles of service and community. Our democracy is in good hands thanks to the talent, dedication and civic pride of the proud Americans working every day to improve our Nation and its prospects.
I commend the citizens of my District to you, and I assure you that my trust in the People remains well-placed with those I have had the honor of representing.
JO ANN EMERSON
* * *
I write to inform you that I have notified Missouri Governor Jeremiah Nixon of my resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective 11:59 p.m., January 22, 2013.
Serving the Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives has been the greatest honor of my professional career. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to represent Southern Missouri, to bring the ideas of the people to our Capitol, and to be part of our democracy. I have always emphasized the same virtues of the people who sent me here: civility, hard work, integrity and love for our neighbors. I deeply appreciate the way our House of Representatives reflects these important parts of life in our great Nation.
I'm grateful beyond words for the members of my staff, our committees and my fellow colleagues in Congress for their service, guidance and friendship. So many talented individuals work to ensure the House of Representatives reflects the voice and will of the People, and most Americans never see the men and women working long hours to advance policy, to support debate and to conduct meaningful oversight.
Finally, I have to thank the constituents of the Eighth Congressional District. In times of tragedy, they have inspired me with their courage. In times of disaster, they have inspired me with their resilience. In times of uncertainty, they have inspired with me their unwavering optimism. I have been honored to fight by their side. I am very proud of what we have accomplished.
JO ANN EMERSON