Republicans choose State Rep. Jason Smith in 8th Congressional District race

VAN BUREN, MO -- A Salem native earns his party's nomination for 8th District Congressional seat.

Monday, Republicans chose State Represenative Jason Smith as the party's nominee for a June special election for the open congressional seat.  Democrats will select its nominee next week.  Eight-term Republican Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson left office last month to take a job with a national rural electric cooperative.

Smith, 32, beat out several candidates for the Republican nomination.  The Salem High School was elected to the statehouse in 2005.  His 150th legislative district covers Dent, Phelps and Crawford Counties.