Gov. Haley Barbour and the “new” Mississippi Legislature face a different set of dynamics when they return to the Capitol in January to get down to the business of governing.
To be sure, Barbour led the Republican Party to historic gains in the 2007 elections – with Republicans winning seven of the state’s eight top statewide offices. But in the same election, House Democrats held their dominant position by retaining their 75-47 majority over the GOP and the state Senate actually saw the balance of power shift from the former 27-25 for the Republicans to a new 28-24 Democratic majority.
With 19 entering freshmen in the 122-member chamber, the “new” House will reflect a turnover of some 16 percent. There will be a whopping 14 entering freshmen state senators among the 52-member Senate, bringing turnover in that chamber to 27 percent.