Billy McCoy has been serving in the Mississippi House since 1980 as a Democrat, but in reality he is a recent convert to the Democratic Party.
During the majority of McCoy’s tenure in the House, he paid little, if any, attention to party politics.
Of course, that has changed in recent years. The second-term House speaker makes no bones about it – he is a Democrat, a bona fide one. Events have forced him to choose.
But at times the 66-year-old Rienzi native acts like the Transportation Committee vice chair or the Ways and Means chairman who was just as willing to override a Democratic governor’s veto as he was that of a Republican governor. In those days, coalitions were built on issues and personal relationships, not on party loyalty.
McCoy must remember that is not the environment in which he now operates. He is a major player in a full-fledged partisan environment with a major target on his back.