“He (McCoy) has said nothing about stepping down, but if I were betting, I would put my money on him doing it,” says 28-year veteran Democrat, Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville, (just outside Tupelo). “Certainly Billy has earned a rest — he’s shouldered the burden for us long enough.”
Holland, an outspoken critic of Republican Gov. Barbour, has no personal designs on seeking the speakership but is non-committal on whom he may back for the job if McCoy steps down. One thing he’s sure about is keeping any Republican from winning the job.
All Democratic speaker hopefuls, however, are not just sitting on the sidelines twiddling their thumbs. Rep. Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto, who has spent 28 years in the ranks, is the most active non-announced candidate. “Others are saying I am running and that’s all right with me,” says Moak, “but I don’t want to put a target on my back right now for people to shoot at.”