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The Southeast Missourian reported today that Republican Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson will retire from the House in February 2013 to become the head of a non-profit organization that represents rural utility cooperatives and public power districts.
The Huffington Post characterizes Emerson as a "moderate" Republican. I would probably disagree seeing as to there are no such Republicans anymore.
The SE Missourian also notes this about Emerson's last election:
Emerson cruised to a large margin of victory in her last bid for re-election, taking over 70 percent of the vote against Democrat Jack Rushin and Libertarian Rick Vandeven. In August, the congresswoman defeated Bob Parker in the Republican primary. She hasn't faced a tough election since her first.
Nevertheless, Democrats should try to find a strong Democratic candidate for this part of Missouri. Any win would take us closer to Nancy Pelosi getting her gavel back, and a 50 state strategy is very important for cases like this.