Gunn unlikely to face opposition

The curtain rises Tuesday on a new era of Republican dominance in Mississippi.

House and Senate members will be sworn in at noon, with Lt. Gov.-elect Tate Reeves and other statewide officers taking their oaths Thursday. Phil Bryant will be sworn in as Mississippi’s 64th governor on Jan. 10.

Though Republicans swelled their majority in the state Senate, maybe the biggest change is the party’s takeover of the House. The party gained nine seats and one when Donnie Bell of Fulton switched from the Democrats, giving the GOP 64 votes in the 122-seat chamber.

Rep. Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, who Republicans chose as their speaker candidate in a closed meeting in November, may get more than 64 votes when the House chooses its presiding officer Tuesday. No opponent has emerged publicly, and some Democrats have said they will vote for Gunn, including Reps. George Flaggs of Vicksburg and Steve Holland of Plantersville.