VAN BUREN, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Republicans have chosen a young state lawmaker promising a "fresh approach" as their candidate to replace former Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.
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."
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. Democrats will select their nominee next weekend.
Emerson resigned Jan. 22 to lead a national association for rural electric cooperatives.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)