Mo. congressional vacancy avoids partisan pitfalls

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - There will be no repeat of the big-dollar, negative primary that plagued Missouri's Republican Senate contest when GOP leaders meet next year to select a replacement candidate for retiring Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.

That's because there will be no primary election at all - no chance for rank & file Republicans or Democrats to cast their votes.

Nominees will be selected by committees of party officials from southeast Missouri. Only then will one Republican and one Democratic candidate be submitted to voters in a special election.

Political scientists say the process will result in a candidate favored by party insiders - instead of an anti-establishment candidate such as Congressman Todd Akin. He won a multi-way Senate primary in August. Campaigning for the nomination also is likely to be less costly.

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