Friday, May 10, 2013

Behind the Ad: The other special House election -- in Missouri's 8th Congressional District

(Another installment in our extensive "Behind the Ad" series.)

Who: The Jason Smith campaign.

Where: Missouri's 8th Congressional District

What's going on: Jo Ann Emerson resigned her House seat back in January of this year. She did that to take a job as president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The election to replace her is on June 4.

The reason you may not have heard about this election is that it is in one of reddest congressional districts in America. Ms. Emerson won the seat in 2012 by a 72 to 25 percent margin. On February 9, 2013, per Missouri statute, Jason Smith was selected by the 8th District Republican Central Committee to be the Republican candidate in the June special election.

He is also the Missouri state House Speaker Pro Tem.

Democrats have nominated Bootheal Region state Rep. Steve Hodges. Charlie Cook notes that Emerson resigned at a time that might have made this election concurrent with municipal elections and therefore helped with turnout. In a very Republican state that would obviously help the Republican. But Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon decided to push it to June where it will stand alone and presumably result in lower turnout, which could aid Hodges.

It may also give Hodges time to define the election in terms of personality and not party, because if it's about party, its over for the Democrats. As Cook writes, Smith would have to show some pretty glaring deficiencies to lose. 

So, that's why you haven't heard about this one, unless you live in Missouri. 

(Cross-posted at Phantom Public.)

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