LEGISLATURE: Some will look at higher office after ’11

Senate President Pro Tem Billy Hewes, R-Gulfport, is expected to run for the office of lieutenant governor, which will be left vacant by Bryant. Sen. Ezell Lee, D-Picayune, has said he is considering a run for lieutenant governor while Sen. Lee Yancey, R-Brandon, has said he is running for treasurer and Rep. Dannie Reed, R-Ackerman, said he is running for agriculture and commerce commissioner.

Other legislators also might run for statewide office, including Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, D-Brookhaven, who is a possibility for ag commissioner.

Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, who is not expected to run for another office and has not announced yet whether he will seek re-election, said it gives him a certain amount of pride when legislators win statewide office – regardless of their party affiliation.

But he said it does change the dynamics of the legislative process when a member is pursuing another office.

“We have some experience with legislators running for another office or higher office,” McCoy said. “It always impacts them…It is very obvious. That does not mean it is bad….

“It does not mean they are mean or evil. It is just part of the process.”

NEMS360
1/3/11