Coast’s lawmakers named to powerful positions

South Mississippi fared well when new House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, named his leadership team on Friday, snaring eight committee chairmanships including the powerful Appropriations post.

The 19-member delegation for the six South Mississippi counties had held five chairmanships for the last four years under former Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi.

Gunn said he tried to be fair with his appointments in terms of seniority, region and political party with his choices, as Republicans take control of the state House for the first time since Reconstruction. While he appointed Republicans to head most key committees, of 40 chairmanships he named, 10 went to Democrats. McCoy, in his last term as speaker, had stripped Republicans of chairmanships after the GOP mounted a failed coup to oust him as speaker.

Sun Herald
1/20/12