BOBBY HARRISON: With Ellis leaving, some of history of Mississippi House goes
Reynolds, like Ellis, was among the 26 House members who tried unsuccessfully in 1984 to change the rules to limit the powers of then-Speaker C.B. “Buddie” Newman, who was generally viewed as running the 122-member House with an iron fist.
At the time, the effort of the 26 rebels was viewed as a huge disappointment. But the group did not give up and by the end of the term in 1987, the 26 had blossomed into a three-fifths majority that successfully changed the rules to give the average member more say in the House.
After the vote, Newman famously commented, “It looks to me like the winds of change have turned into a tornado.” The three-term speaker opted not to seek re-election later that year, resulting in the selection by the membership in 1988 of Lee County’s Tim Ford as speaker.