The Clarion-Ledger, 8/10/7

A race for the speakership of the Mississippi House of Representatives is heating up, months before many lawmakers even know whether they’re returning to the Capitol.

Rep. Jeff Smith, a conservative Democrat from Columbus, confirmed what he had been saying for months – that he will challenge Rep. Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, for the speakership.

House members will choose a speaker in January; winning takes at least 62 votes. The speaker presides over the House, appoints the chamber’s committee chairmen and assigns bills to committees.