Jo Ann Emerson

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Jo Ann Emerson
Jo Ann Emerson.jpg
U.S. House, Missouri, District 8
Former member
In office
January 3, 1997-January 22, 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$8,682,964
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sOhio Wesleyan University
Date of birthSeptember 16, 1950
Place of birthBethesda, Maryland
ProfessionPublic Relations, Association Executive
Jo Ann Emerson campaign logo
Jo Ann Emerson (b. September 16, 1950) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing Missouri's 8th congressional district. Emerson was first elected to the House in 1996,[1] and was serving her ninth consecutive term upon her resignation, having won re-election on November 6, 2012 by a margin of 46.3%.[2]

Emerson announced on December 3, 2012, that she would be resigning in February 2013 to become President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.[3] Her resignation occurred on January 22, 2013.[4]


Emerson was born in Bethesda, Maryland. She earned a degree in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University. [1]


Emerson worked in PR and communications for a number of professional associations before her civic career.[5] 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 briefly served on the following committees:[6]

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science
    • Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
    • Subcommittee on Legislative Branch


Emerson served on the following committees:[7]

  • 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


Lobbying position after leaving office

Emerson was listed in March 2013 by USA Today as 1 of 16 former lawmakers who took on a lobbying related position after leaving office.[8] Sixteen of the 98 total lawmakers who have retired or were ousted by voters since January 2011 hold lobbying-related jobs.[8] USA Today looked at lawmakers who retired, resigned or lost their seats in the last Congress — along with the handful who left their posts during the first months of the new Congress.[8]

Despite rules in place to prevent the constant rotation of lawmakers into lobbying positions, many former lawmakers are entering into positions with either lobbying firms or trade associations.[8] Former House members are barred from lobbying their former colleagues for a year, and former senators are barred for two years.[8]

There are no restrictions, however, on providing behind-the-scenes advice to corporations and others seeking to shape federal legislation.[8] Ex-lawmakers can immediately lobby the executive branch and officials in state and local governments.[8] Many former lawmakers are taking advantage of this slight distinction, and are taking positions after their political careers end as consultants and strategists.[8]

Campaign themes


On her campaign website, Emerson listed nine issues. They are: [9]

  • 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." [9]

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. [10]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Emerson voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. She was one of 85 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]



Emerson won re-election in 2012.[12] She defeated Bob Parker in the Republican primary.[13] She was re-elected on November 6, 2012.[14]

U.S. House, Missouri District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Jack Rushin 24.6% 73,755
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJo Ann Emerson Incumbent 71.9% 216,083
     Libertarian Rick Vandeven 3.5% 10,553
Total Votes 300,391
Source: Missouri Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Republican Primary Results

U.S. House, Missouri District 8 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJo Ann Emerson 67.1% 61,975
Bob Parker 32.9% 30,429
Total Votes 92,404

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Emerson is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Emerson raised a total of $8,682,964 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 17,2013.[23]

Jo Ann Emerson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $1,516,761
2010 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $2,006,543
2008 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $1,246,268
2006 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $1,165,512
2004 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $996,961
2002 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $978,299
2000 U.S. House (Missouri, District 8) Won $772,620
Grand Total Raised $8,682,964


Breakdown of the source of Emerson's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Emerson won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Emerson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,516,761 and spent $1,438,336.[24]


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.[25]


Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Emerson missed 370 of 10,994 roll call votes from Jan 1997 to Jan 2013, which is 3.4% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Jan 2013.[26]

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Emerson is a "centrist Republican" as of May 2013.[27]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Emerson paid her congressional staff a total of $1,117,918 in 2011. Overall, Missouri ranked 21st in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[28]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Emerson's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $201,005 and $984,996. That averages to $593,000, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Representatives in 2011 of $7,859,232. Her average net worth increased by 20.9% from 2010.[29]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Emerson's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $121,010 to $859,996. That averages to a net worth of $490,503, which is lower than the average net worth of Republicans in 2010 of $7,561,133.[30]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Emerson was ranked the 202nd most conservative representative during 2012.[31]


According to the data released in 2012, Jo Ann Emerson was ranked the 200th most conservative representative during 2011.[32]

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.[33]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Jo Ann + Emerson + Missouri + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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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.[34]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Project VoteSmart, "Jo Ann Emerson's biography" (accessed May 31, 2013)
  2. State of Missouri, "Nov. 6, 2012 General Election" (accessed May 31, 2013)
  3. The Washington Post, "Missouri Rep. Jo Ann Emerson to resign from House," December 3, 2012
  4. Southeast Missourian, "At least three vying for Democratic nod in 8th District," January 24, 2013
  5. Jo Ann Emerson, Representing Missouri's 8th Congressional District "U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson"
  6., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  7. U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Clerk "Committee Information"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 USA Today "Former lawmakers lobbying jobs" accessed March 27, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Jo Ann Emerson "Issues" April 25, 2012
  10., "Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson Announces Her Support for Rick Santorum," March 13, 2012
  11. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  12. Official Campaign Site Accessed January 21, 2012
  13. AP Results "Missouri U.S. House Results" Accessed August 7, 2012
  14. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  23. Open Secrets "Jo Ann Emerson" Accessed May 17, 2013
  24. Open Secrets "Jo Ann Emerson 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 13, 2013
  25. Open Secrets "Billy Long 2010 Election Data," Accessed November 9, 2011
  26. GovTrack, "Jo Ann Emerson" Accessed April 2013
  27. Gov Track "Jo Ann Emerson," (accessed May 31, 2013)
  28. LegiStorm, "Jo Ann Emerson," Accessed October 8, 2012
  29., "Jo Ann Emerson, (R-Mo), 2011"
  30., "Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), 2010," Accessed October 8, 2012
  31. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  32. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  33. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  34. Jo Ann Emerson, Putting People Before Politics "Meet Jo Ann"
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Emerson
U.S. House of Representatives - Missouri, District 8
Succeeded by
Jason Smith