Jo Ann Emerson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jo Ann Emerson
Jo Ann Emerson, Official Portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 8th district
In office
November 5, 1996 – January 22, 2013
Preceded by Bill Emerson
Succeeded by Jason T. Smith
Personal details
Born (1950-09-16) September 16, 1950 (age 63)
Bethesda, Maryland
Political party Independent (1996)
Republican (1997-present)
Spouse(s) Bill Emerson (1975-1996 death)
Ron Gladney (2000-present)
Residence Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University
Occupation association executive
Religion Presbyterian

Jo Ann Emerson (born September 16, 1950) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 8th congressional district from 1996 to 2013. The district consists of Southeast and South Central Missouri and includes the Bootheel, the Lead Belt and the Ozarks. Emerson is a member of the Republican Party. On January 22, 2013, Emerson resigned her seat in Congress to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

With the defeat of Congressman Ike Skelton, Emerson became the dean, i.e., the longest-serving member, of Missouri's congressional delegation in 2011.

Early life, education and career[edit]

She was born Jo Ann Hermann in Bethesda, Maryland. She was a daughter of Albert "A.B." Hermann, who was executive director of the Republican National Committee.[1] She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University.[2] She married future U.S. Representative Bill Emerson, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, on June 22, 1975. They had two daughters; Jo Ann also has five stepdaughters and a stepson. Bill was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1980 from Missouri's 10th Congressional District and, subsequent to redistricting, was reelected in 1982 from the 8th District. He died from cancer on June 22, 1996, a few months before the end of his eighth term. The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, which links Missouri to Illinois across the Mississippi River, was dedicated to commemorate his efforts to obtain federal funding for its construction.

Following Bill's death, Jo Ann married Ron Gladney in 2000. From this marriage she gained a stepdaughter and a stepson.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Other memberships[edit]

  • Vice President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
    • Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Democratic Governance
  • Vice Chair of the Center Aisle Caucus
  • Honorary and Life Trustee of Westminster College
  • Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Congressional Hunger Center
  • Founding Member of the Bipartisan Congressional Retreat

Emerson, whose voting record in Congress has established her as one of the more moderate Republicans, has a history of bipartisanship while in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a member of the moderate Republican groups the Republican Main Street Partnership and The Tuesday Group.

On May 24, 2005, Emerson was one of 50 Republicans to vote in favor of overturning President George W. Bush's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. She cast her "yea" vote the day after her mother-in-law died from Alzheimer's Disease, one of the illnesses for which scientists believe they can create better treatments from stem cell research.

On July 12, 2007, Emerson was one of only four Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by April 2008.[3]

On September 15, 2009, Emerson was one of seven House Republicans to vote in favor of the Democrats' proposed resolution to condemn U.S. Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) for shouting "You lie!" in the middle of President Barack Obama's joint address to the U.S. Congress on health care reform.

Her margins of victory in the district have always been higher than those of GOP presidential candidates George W. Bush and John McCain as well as Republican gubernatorial candidates Kenny Hulshof, Matt Blunt and Jim Talent.

Emerson announced in early December 2012 her plans to retire from Congress in February 2013 to assume a position with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association as its president and Chief Executive Officer.[4]

Political campaigns[edit]

When her husband Bill died in 1996, Jo Ann announced she would run for his vacant seat. However, Missouri state law prohibited her from filing in the Republican primary for the general election. In November, Jo Ann Emerson competed in two elections on the same day. She ran as a Republican against Democrat Emily Firebaugh in the special election to finish the last two months of her late husband's final term, and as an independent against Democrat Firebaugh and Republican Richard Kline in the general election for a full two-year term. She won both elections easily and has been reelected seven times without serious difficulty. She is the first Republican woman elected to the U.S. Congress from Missouri. She served the last two months of her husband's term as an independent caucusing with the Republicans before officially becoming a Republican at the start of the new Congress in 1997. She was briefly the first independent elected to federal office in Missouri in 122 years.[5]

2008[edit]

2010[edit]

2012[edit]

2013[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

2010 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 128,499 65.56 -5.88
Democratic Tommy Sowers 56,377 28.76 +2.60
Independent Larry Bill 7,193 3.67 +3.67
Libertarian Rick Vandeven 3,930 2.01 +0.41
2008 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 198,798 71.44 -0.20
Democratic Joe Allen 72,790 26.16 -0.24
Libertarian Branden C. McCullough 4,443 1.60 -0.36
Constitution Richard L. Smith 2,257 0.81
2006 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 156,164 71.64 -0.57
Democratic Veronica J. Hambacker 57,557 26.40 -0.22
Libertarian Branden C. McCullough 4,268 1.96 +1.29
2004 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 194,039 72.21 +0.45
Democratic Dean Henderson 71,543 26.62 -0.29
Libertarian Stan Cuff 1,810 0.67 -0.65
Constitution Leonard J. Davidson 1,319 0.49
2002 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 135,144 71.76 +2.45
Democratic Gene Curtis 50,686 26.91 -2.04
Libertarian Eric Van Oostrom 2,491 1.32 +0.33
2000 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 162,239 69.31 +6.69
Democratic Bob Camp 67,760 28.95 -6.74
Libertarian John B. Hendricks, Jr. 2,328 0.99 -0.71
Green Tom Sager 1,739 0.74
1998 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jo Ann Emerson 104,271 62.62 +12.15
Democratic Anthony J. “Tony” Heckemeyer 59,426 35.69 -1.59
Libertarian John B. Hendricks, Jr. 2,827 1.70 +0.58
1996 Election for U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Jo Ann Emerson 112,472 50.47 '
Democratic Emily Firebaugh 83,084 37.28
Republican Richard Kline 23,477 10.53
Libertarian Greg Tlapek 2,503 1.12
Natural Law David R. Zimmer 1,318 0.59

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Emerson's Mother Dies". Sikeston Standard Democrat. September 9, 2003. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  2. ^ "EMERSON, Jo Ann, (1950 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll624.xml
  4. ^ "Jo Ann Emerson to retire in Feb.". Politico. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Official Manual State of Missouri 2001–2002. Missouri Secretary of State. p. 117. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Emerson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 8th congressional district

1996–2013
Succeeded by
Jason T. Smith