Mississippi leaders reflect on the years Speaker Philip Gunn spent leading the House of Representatives.
This week, Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn announced he would not seek reelection for his state House seat, meaning Representatives will elect a new Speaker after his term concludes in January 2024.
Gunn was first elected to represent the 56th District in Madison and Hinds counties in 2004. He was then elected as Speaker of the House in 2012, becoming the first Republican to hold the position since Reconstruction. He has overseen major legislation that has moved through the chamber since that time.
After Gunn’s announcement, both Governor Tate Reeves and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann shared their appreciation for Gunn’s conservative leadership.
READ MORE: Governor Reeves, Lt. Governor Hosemann share their appreciation for Speaker Gunn’s service, leadership
In addition, lawmakers and other state officials across Mississippi have shared their thoughts on Gunn’s tenure. Below are a few of those comments.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson:
“Since my first election to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 2007, Speaker Philip Gunn has been my friend and a supporter of key conservative policies enacted by the Legislature. It was an honor to nominate my friend as Speaker in 2012, then to serve as chairman under his leadership. Since taking office as Speaker in 2012, some of the key accomplishments under his leadership range from Mississippi’s historic pro-life legislation House Bill 1510 that resulted in overturning Roe v. Wade at the United States Supreme Court, passing a strong religious freedom law that withstood challenges in federal court, restoring, in state law, the principles of the right to keep and bear arms as provided in the Second Amendment, and more recently, the historic state income tax cuts.
“At first, Speaker Gunn and I served together in the House when Republican members were in the minority; then later, we continued working together to shape policy as Mississippi Republicans took control of the House for the first time in modern history.
“Since serving as Agriculture Commissioner beginning in 2018, I have greatly appreciated Speaker Gunn’s consistent and strong support of Mississippi’s farmers, ranchers and landowners on a host of major legislative issues. More importantly Speaker Gunn has demonstrated strong commitment to his faith and his family during his legislative tenure these last 20 years.
“Although he announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election to the House after 2023, Speaker Gunn’s legacy in helping shape a new era of Mississippi conservative policy will long endure for decades to come. I look forward to continuing working with Speaker Gunn, the House and the entire Legislature in 2023 and in the future on issues important to all Mississippians, especially on issues affecting agriculture, commerce and our rural communities.”
MSGOP Chairman Frank Bordeaux:
“After 20 years in the Mississippi House of Representatives and 12 as Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn has accumulated too many accomplishments to list them all here. Not only has he served the people of District 56 well, he has served the State of Mississippi well.
“As Republicans, we are particularly proud of laws the Speaker helped pass to grow our economy, reform our tax code, and the pro-life law that helped overturn Roe v. Wade. While we do not know what Speaker Gunn’s next step in public service might be, we do wish to thank him for his service and stellar achievements as Speaker and Representative for District 56.
“I know all of our Republican county chairmen and the members of our Executive Committee join me in wishing Lisa and Speaker Gunn well in future endeavors and gratitude for their ongoing efforts to serve our state.”
Representative Trey Lamar:
“He is a good man, and the state of Mississippi is better off for his service. Most importantly, he is a God-fearing family man, and it has been a tremendous honor to serve with him and call him my friend.”
Representative Lee Yancey:
“Philip Gunn has been the most effective speaker in the history of MS politics. Among his many accomplishments are the $525 million tax cut, the new MS flag, and presiding when the bill that overturned Roe was passed. He is a strong leader who doggedly achieved his goals,” Yancey said on Twitter.