Jo Ann Emerson

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Jo Ann Emerson
Jo Ann Emerson.jpg
U.S. House, Missouri, District 8
In office
January 3, 1997-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2013
Years in position 18
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next generalNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sOhio Wesleyan University
Date of birthSeptember 16, 1950
Place of birthBethesda, Maryland
ProfessionPublic Relations, Association Executive
Office website
Campaign website
Jo Ann Emerson (b. September 16, 1950) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Missouri. Emerson was elected by voters from Missouri's 8th congressional district. She is running for re-election in 2012. Emerson defeated Bob Parker in the Republican primary on August 7, 2012.[1]


Emerson was born in Bethesda, Maryland. She earned a degree in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University. [2]


Emerson worked in PR and communications for a number of professional associations before her civic career.[3] After her husband and representative Bill Emerson died of cancer she was elected to his vacated House seat in Missouri's 8th congressional district.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Emerson serves on the following committees:[4]

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
    • Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch


Campaign themes


On her campaign website, Emerson lists nine issues. They are: [5]

  • Agriculture and Manufacturing
  • On her website, Emerson says, "Southern Missouri is home to the farms and ranches that supply the safest, most affordable supply of food in the world. By working with members of both parties to make sure a safety net stays in place for our family farms and ranches we're working to make sure American producers to continue to lead."
  • Honoring our Commitment to our Veterans
  • On her website, Emerson says, "Veterans and active duty servicemen and servicewomen deserve the sincere admiration and thanks of a grateful nation. These brave Americans dedicate their lives to the service of their country, and I believe our responsibility to them does not simply end when they return home from a battlefield far away. Our veterans represent the very best of our country's founding principles: honor, duty, courage, patriotism, selflessness, and a willingness to sacrifice everything in the name of freedom. Our veterans here in southern Missouri provide clear evidence of their character every day."
  • Improving our Roads, Bridges & Waterways
  • On her website, Emerson says, "In our rural part of the country, we are often required to travel some distance to reach our grocery stores, pharmacies and churches – making safe highways and roads even more important. Together we have made numerous improvements, including the widening of Highways 60 and 67 as well as the vital improvements made to Interstate-55. As many in Washington shift their focus to funding mass transportation systems used in urban areas, I remain a vocal supporter for roadways necessary to maintain the quality of life we enjoy here in rural Missouri."
  • Keeping us Safe
  • On her website, Emerson says, "Gone are the days that the safety and security of our nation depends solely on alleviating threats from abroad. The defense of our nation not only depends on a strong, smart fighting force, but the strengthening of our borders, a robust intelligence operation, genuine diplomacy, and the ready response of our finest first-responders."
  • Protecting Individual Rights
  • On her website, Emerson says, "As a long-time and proud member of the NRA, I oppose further gun control measures and believe we must more adequately enforce the laws already on the books. In Congress, I was proud to support the exemption of off-duty law enforcement officers from the ban on carrying concealed weapons in Missouri."
  • Putting Healthcare Decisions back in your Hands
  • On her website, Emerson says, "The truth is there aren’t very many things the federal government does well. The last thing we ought to do is put them in charge of personal decisions affecting our health. That’s why I so vehemently opposed this government takeover. That is why I listened and talked with you and I brought your opinions to the debate."
  • Spurring Private Sector Job Growth
  • On her website, Emerson says, "The government shouldn’t be in the business of creating jobs, it should be creating the conditions necessary for private employers to create jobs. This means we must keep taxes low, refrain from imposing onerous new regulations and mandates on our small businesses, and put this nation’s economy back on track."
  • Strengthening our Rural Economy
  • On her website, Emerson says, "We face unique challenges in rural America, where our economy is intensely energy-dependant and our homes and places of employment are often separated by many miles. As a result, we must continue working to bring every advantage to our Southern Missouri economy."
  • Working to Defeat Cap-and-Trade
  • On her website, Emerson says, "Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from a farmer, worker, or family living here in Southern Missouri worried about the impact this misguided energy policy will have on their job and family. Like you, I understand that cap-and-trade or as it’s more appropriately called, cap-and-tax, is nothing more than a massive new energy tax on the energy we use every day to fuel our cars, tractors, and combines, as well as heat and cool our homes." [5]

Political positions

Percentage voting with party

November 2011

Jo Ann Emerson voted with the Republican Party 89.0% of the time, which ranked 201th among the 242 House Republican members as of November 2011.[6]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Jo Ann Emerson endorsed Rick Santorum in the 2012 presidential election. [7]



Emerson is seeking re-election in 2012.[8] She defeated Bob Parker in the Republican primary.[9] The general election takes place on November 6, 2012.


On November 2, 2010, Emerson was re-elected to the United States House for an eighth term. She defeated Tommy Sowers (D), Larry Bill (Independent), and Rick Vandeven (Libertarian).[10]

United States House, Missouri General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJo Ann Emerson Incumbent 65.6% 128,499
     Democratic Tommy Sowers 28.8% 56,377
     Independent Larry Bill 3.7% 7,193
     Libertarian Rick Vandeven 2% 3,930
Total Votes 195,999

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are Emerson's reports.[11]

Jo Ann Emerson (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[12]March 31, 2012$212,709.98$128,348.2$(92,469.92)$248,588.26
July Quarterly[13]June 30, 2012$248,670.92$246,650.66$(196,809.44)$298,512.14
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Emerson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Emerson was re-elected to the U.S. House for an eighth term in 2010. Her campaign committee raised a total of $2,006,543 and spent $2,071,160.[14]

Recent news

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After the death of her husband, Bill, Emerson married Ron Gladney, an attorney. She is the mother of two daughters, Victoria and Katharine, five stepdaughters, Elizabeth Emerson Leger and Abigail Emerson Gray, and Alison, Jessica and Stephanie Gladney, and one stepson, Sam Gladney. She lives in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.[15]

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Emerson
U.S. House of Representatives - Missouri, District 8
Succeeded by