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Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., has announced plans to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives in February to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which represents more than 900 electric cooperatives in 47 states.

"I am not leaving Congress because I have lost my heart for service - to the contrary - I see a new way to serve," Emerson said in a statement. "I did not go seeking this opportunity, but I am excited about the new challenge it offers to find ways to promote strong rural policy."

Emerson, who was first elected to represent Missouri's 8th District in 1996, serves on the House Appropriations Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations. Effective March 1, 2013, she will replace NRECA's current CEO, Glenn English, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year.

“We conducted an exhaustive search to identify the very best individual to lead a great association. We’re convinced we found that person in Jo Ann Emerson,” said Mike Guidry, NRECA’s board president, in a statement. “Her background as a member of Congress and a trade association executive - coupled with her extensive knowledge of the issues facing electric cooperatives and rural America - make Jo Ann eminently qualified to lead NRECA and represent the interests of our members. The respect she has from both sides of the aisle and her proven ability to bridge political and policy divides and find common ground will serve NRECA well.”



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