Gunn was the first Republican Speaker of the Mississippi House since Reconstruction after Republicans won the majority 12 years ago.

Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn announced Wednesday afternoon that he would not be running for re-election in House District 56 in the 2023 state elections.

In a statement, Gunn said it has been one of the greatest honors of his life to serve as Speaker of the Mississippi House.

“I am extremely grateful to the people of District 56 who have given me the opportunity to serve them for the last 20 years and to the members of the House who have entrusted the role of Speaker to me for 12 years,” Gunn said.  “I believe we have moved Mississippi in a positive direction, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to another productive session in 2023.”

Gunn was the first Republican Speaker of the Mississippi House since Reconstruction when Republicans won the majority 12 years ago.

“Having said that, I have decided not to seek re-election for House District 56.  My service as Speaker coming to an end does not mean I will not be open to future opportunities to serve,” Gunn said, but did not elaborate as to what the future may hold for him.

“I love our state and will always work to make her better. I believe there will be an opportunity for me to serve our state soon and when that time comes I will be ready,” Gunn concluded.

Jason White, the current Speaker Pro Tem, is the odds-on favorite to replace Gunn assuming Republicans hold the majority in the House in November 2023.