After 17 potential Republican candidates have come forward to express interest in U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s soon to be vacant seat for Missouri's 8th Congressional District, the Democrats are finally beginning to step from the shadows and place their name in the hat. Two Democrats considering a bid for a nomination are Barry Aycock of Parma, and Linda Black of Bonne Terre. Aycock is owner and founder of AgXplore International, a Bootheel-based manufacturer and distributor of specialty agriculture products, a lifelong Democrat and major donor to the campaign of Gov. Jay Nixon. Black has served in the Missouri House since 2008 for the 117th District that covers St. Francois County, served as a city and county official, and was a public-school teacher. Black is a chairwoman for pro-life and sportsmen’s caucuses, belongs to the National Rifle Association and the Missouri Farm Bureau. While Democrats have not yet released word on their plans, Republicans are expected to meet Feb. 9 in Van Buren, to nominate a candidate from a field of 17 possible nominees. If independent candidates want to run in the special election, they will have to collect signatures from registered voters equal to two percent of the total votes cast in the November 2012 congressional race -- just more than 6,000.
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