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Jo Ann Emerson (R)
Date Of Birth & Birthplace: 9/16/1950 (Washington, DC)
Race: White
Religion: Presbyterian
Residence: Cape Girardeau, MO
Education: BA in Political Science from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
Occupation: Association Executive
Office Type: U.S. House -- Missouri District 8 

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Jo Ann Emerson was born in Washington, grew up in Bethesda, Md., and today resides in Cape Girardeau, Mo. She received a bachelor's degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1972. She worked as a lobbyist in Washington for the American Insurance Association. She also worked for the National Restaurant Association and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Her late father, Ab Herman, was longtime head of the Republican National Committee (and played third base for the Boston Braves in the 1920s). Emerson replaced her husband, longtime Republican Rep. Bill Emerson, after he died of lung cancer in June 1996. The timing meant Emerson had to run simultaneous campaigns, as a Republican in the special election to finish her husband's term and as an independent in the general election for a new term.

She was re-elected in 1998, 2000 and 2002.

Emerson is married to Ron Gladney, a St. Louis labor lawyer. She has two daughters, five stepdaughters and a stepson. She also has two grandchildren.

Past Campaigns:

Jo Ann Emerson won the election to succeed her late husband, Bill Emerson, in Congress in 1996, defeating Democrat Emily Firebaugh with 50 percent of the vote. Firebaugh was backed by House Minority Leader Dick Gepahrdt and out-spent Emerson, but she won only 37 percent of the vote. In the simultaneous special election to finish the rest of her husband's term, Emerson won 63 percent of the vote.

She became the first woman to be elected to Congress in Missouri's 8th District and the first Republican woman elected to Congress in Missouri.

She was re-elected in 1998, defeating Democrat Tony Heckemeyer with 63 percent of the vote.

In 2000, she defeated Democrat Bob Camp with 69 percent of the vote.

She defeated Democrat Gene Curtis in 2002, winning re-election with 72 percent of the vote.

Emerson considered challenging Missouri Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan in 2002 but decided against it, saying she would rather spend time with her husband and family.

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