Updated at 2:28 with announcement of the date of the special election.
As expected, U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson submitted her letter of resignation to Governor Jay Nixon and House speaker John Boehner on Tuesday. Emerson is leaving to become president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Now, Nixon must call for a special election to fill out the remainder of Emerson’s term.
Legislation to require special elections in Missouri to fill vacancies in statewide offices has cleared another hurdle.
The bill today easily passed the House Rules Committee and is expected to be debated on the floor of the House next week. If passed, House Bill 110 would only allow the governor to appoint a temporary placeholder if a statewide office is vacated, and that person would be ineligible to run in the special election to fill the vacancy. State Representative Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart) sits on the Rules Committee and cast one of the few “no” votes.
A Missouri House committee has overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require special elections to fill vacancies in statewide offices.
House Bill 110 would require special elections if the office of Lt. Governor or any other statewide office is suddenly vacated. It would allow the Governor to only appoint a placeholder who would temporarily fill the office but not be eligible to run in the special election. It’s sponsored by House Speaker Pro-tem Jason Smith (R, Salem).
Aside from Medicaid expansion, the most talked-about issue so far during the just-begun Missouri legislative session is whether Governor Jay Nixon (D) has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if Peter Kinder succeeds fellow Republican Jo Ann Emerson in Congress.
Following his annual Prayer Breakfast earlier today, Governor Nixon told reporters he believes he has the authority to appoint a new Lt. Governor if the office suddenly becomes vacant.
The Cape Girardeau Republican fended off a challenge from former State Auditor, Democrat Susan Montee. She called Kinder shortly before 11:00 p.m. to concede the race and congratulate Kinder. He celebrated his victory with a small gathering of supporters, about 30 in all, at a hotel in Creve Cour. He credits what he calls "grass-roots" campaigning for his victory this time around.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Republican Lt. Governor has no legal standing to file suit because the Affordable Care Act poses no immediate threat to Kinder’s legally protected interests. He filed suit two years ago as an individual, not in his official capacity as Lt. Governor. The three-judge panel’s ruling did not address the constitutionality of the federal health care law, most of which was upheld last year in a 5-4 ruling by the U-S Supreme Court.