Updated at 4:20 p.m.
JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri state Rep. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls will be the Democratic candidate in a special election for eastern Kansas City’s state Senate seat.
A Democratic committee for the 9th Senatorial District nominated Curls on Tuesday. The election to fill the seat is scheduled for Feb. 22.
The incumbent, Kansas City Democrat Yvonne Wilson, announced in November she would step down to spend more time with her family and particularly her husband of 58 years.
Wilson, 81, had two years remaining in her term.
Curls, 42, was elected to a third term in the Missouri House last month. Wilson endorsed her for the Senate seat almost immediately after announcing she would resign.
“I’m excited yet humbled to have received the Democratic nomination from the 9th Senatorial District Committee,” Curls said. “I’ve always worked hard in Jefferson City and will continue to work hard for the people of the 9th district.”
She will face a Republican candidate in the February election: Nola Wood, an insurance agent from Kansas City who ran unsuccessfully in November for a state House seat.
“I’m looking forward to serving the people of the 9th district with same effort I’ve brought to a lot of volunteerism and raising a family and efforts in private business,” Wood said.
The 9th Senate District covers eastern Kansas City in Jackson County and historically votes strongly Democratic. The winner of February’s special election will hold the office until 2012, and will be eligible for two full four-year terms beginning in 2012.