Former Republican congressman Wendell Bailey has joined a crowded field of candidates hoping to fill a vacancy in southeast Missouri's 8th Congressional District.
Bailey announced his candidacy today to succeed U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who's resigning to lead the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Candidates for a special election will be chosen by Republican and Democratic committees instead of through primaries.
Bailey says there 20 or more Republicans seeking Emerson's seat. If he's chosen as the nominee, Bailey says he would serve the remainder of Emerson's term but would not seek re-election in 2014. He says that would allow Republicans to hold a primary election without an incumbent, giving all candidates a fair chance to compete.