Gunn dispelled any notions that he would use the new Republican majority in the House to completely shut out Democrats from committee chairmanships. Democratic Speaker Billy McCoy had done that to Republicans after a near-successful revolt against his leadership in the House in 2008 in which not a single Republican voted for him.
Gunn named Democrats to 10 of 41 committee chairmanships, including some that are consequential. As with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in the Senate, he reserved the top committees for Republicans, which was to be expected, but the crossing of partisan lines in some of the appointments makes an important statement for the working of both legislative bodies over the four-year term ahead.
It’s conceivable that with solid and probably enduring Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, along with a Republican governor, the overt partisanship of the last four years could subside a bit. If so, that would be beneficial to efforts in areas like education and health care where the divide in recent years has so often been drawn along partisan lines – almost reflexively in some instances.