House swears in new representative from Missouri

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jason Smith, a 32-year-old Missouri state lawmaker, livestock farm owner and attorney, has taken the oath to become the newest member of the House.

Smith on Tuesday easily won a special election in the 8th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold in southeastern Missouri that has been represented by the Emerson family since 1980.

Jo Ann Emerson, a Republican who resigned in January to lead the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, succeeded her husband, Bill, after he died in 1996.

While Jo Ann Emerson was regarded as one of the more moderate House Republicans, Smith has some tea party backing and is thought to be more conservative.

With Smith’s swearing-in, the House returns to its full contingent of 435 members, with Republicans holding a 234-201 majority.

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