Missouri Democrats choose Steve Hodges for Congress

Democratic Party leaders from southeast Missouri have picked state Rep. Steve Hodges to run in a special election to replace resigned U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

The conservative Democrat from East Prairie was selected Saturday during a meeting in Poplar Bluff. Hodges earned 39 votes. De Soto, Mo., funeral home director Todd Mahn got 27 votes, and former Blodgett, Mo., mayor Markel Fitchpatrick earned only two votes.

Hodges will run in a June 4 special election against Republican state Rep. Jason Smith, who was nominated by his party last weekend.

Hodges said he'd try to continue the legacies of Jo Ann and Bill Emerson in support for labor and agriculture. He also stressed the need to balance the budget.