VAN BUREN, MO (KFVS/AP) - Jason Smith is the man Republicans want to put in the vacated 8th District congressional seat.
Republicans voted to select Smith Saturday in Van Buren, Missouri at the Landing.
Jason Smith won the nomination Saturday after several rounds of voting by an 84-person Republican committee. He is the speaker pro tem of the Missouri House.
At age 32, Smith would be one of the younger members of Congress. He pledged to "bring a fresh approach" to conservative policies without trying to "yell the loudest."
"We're going to go all across all thirty counties and get everyone together sending the message that we're tired of the reckless spending in Washington D.C.," said Smith. "That we want them to pass a budget-and balance the budget."
Missouri's 8th Congressional District is one of three vacant seats in the nation, but it's the only one where party leaders - not voters - are choosing the candidates.
The committee voted after candidates were done speaking. A candidate needs 50 votes for the nomination, meaning multiple votes are possible. Chair Eddie Justice says the last time a special election like this took place was at least 40 or more years ago.
The round one vote totals were as follows: Parker-13, Tyrrell-1, Richardson-11, Bailey-4, J. Smith-28, Tracy-2, L. Smith-14, Kinder-10, Crowell-10, Lipke-5. John Tyrell was eliminated.
The round two vote results were: Bailey-3, Kinder-7, Crowell-12, Lipke-1, L. Smith-17, J. Smith-33, Tracy-1, Parker-13, Richardson-11.
Lipke and Tracy were eliminated after two rounds, and they were down to seven candidates. The round one and two leader in votes was Jason Smith.
Round three results were: Bailey-3, Kinder-11, Crowell-15, L. Smith-16, J. Smith-34, Parker-9, Richardson-10, with still no majority. Bailey was eliminated and he received a nice applause from the crowd.
Round four results were as follows: Kinder-12, Crowell-20, L. Smith-13, J. Smith-39, Parker-5, Richardson-9. There was still no majority and round five voting took place.
Round five voting results were: Kinder-12, Crowell-21, L. Smith-11, J. Smith-47, Richardson-6. The committee then took a recess.
Lloyd Smith withdrew from the race after five rounds. Todd Richardson was eliminated, meaning three candidates remained.
Smith won the voting in the sixth round and held back tears as he addressed the crowd.
Smith won with 55 votes on Round six. Kinder had 22 and Crowell had 21.
Democrats will gather February 16 in Poplar Bluff to choose their candidate. Both party meetings are open to the public.
Governor Jay Nixon set June 4 as the date for the special election that will determine who will finish out Representative Jo Ann Emerson's term.
GOP Chair Eddy Justice says he doesn't expect any candidate to run third party
Emerson resigned after 17 years in the U.S. House of Representatives to take a job leading the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Mo. House Speaker Tim Jones released this statement on Saturday:
"From my many years of experience working with Jason, I personally know he is a committed fiscal conservative like me who understands the importance of free markets and fiscal responsibility. Over the past several years, he has worked with me to fight for limited government, defend the unborn, and stand up for our Second Amendment rights. I know he will bring the same values and work ethic that he has demonstrated as a key leader in the Missouri House to his position representing our state in Congress. Now more than ever, we need conservatives with integrity like Representative Jason Smith to stand up for us in Washington, D.C."