Bennie Thompson

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Bennie Thompson
Bennie Thompson.jpg
U.S. House, Mississippi, District 2
In office
April 13, 1993-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorMike Espy (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$8.22 in 2012
First electedApril 13, 1993
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$8,375,785
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Hinds County, Mississippi, Board of Supervisors
Mayor of Bolton, Mississippi
Board of Aldermen, Bolton, Mississippi
Bachelor'sTougaloo College
Master'sJackson State University
BirthdayJanuary 28, 1948
Place of birthBolton, Mississippi
Net worth$647,014.50
Office website
Campaign website
Bennie G. Thompson (b. January 28, 1948, in Bolton, Mississippi) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Mississippi's 2nd Congressional District. Thompson was first elected to the House in a 1993 special election following the resignation of Representative Mike Espy. He won re-election in 2012. He is running for re-election on November 4, 2014, and he won the Democratic nomination in the primary election on June 3, 2014.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Thompson is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Thompson was born in 1948 in Bolton, Mississippi. He earned his B.A. from Tougaloo College and his M.S. from Mississippi State University in 1968 and 1972, respectively.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Thompson's political career:[1]

Prior to his political career, Thompson worked as a school teacher.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Thompson serves on the following committees:[2]


Thompson served on the following House committee:[3]

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[4] For more information pertaining to Thompson's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security


Voted "No" Thompson voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[6]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Thompson voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[6]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" Thompson voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[6]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Thompson voted in support of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[7] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[6]


Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" Thompson voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[8] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[9]

SNAP funding

Thompson signed a letter addressed to House Speaker John Boehner that asked for any future farm bills to include SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding.[10]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[11] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[12] Thompson voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[11]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[13] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Thompson voted for HR 2775.[14]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Thompson voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[15] The vote largely followed party lines.[16]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Thompson has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[17]

Social issues


Voted "No" Thompson voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[18]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Thompson voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.[19]


On The Issues Vote Match

Bennie Thompson's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of all Congressional members based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Thompson is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. Thompson received a score of 66 percent on personal issues and two percent on economic issues.[20]

On The Issues organization logo.
On The Issues Vote Quiz
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Favors
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Opposes
Support & expand free trade Strongly Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Opposes
Prioritize green energy Favors Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Favors
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated in 2014.[20]


A Washington Post investigation in February 2012 revealed that 33 members of Congress helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to public projects in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.[21] According to the report, Thompson helped secure $900,000 that was used to resurface about two dozen roads in Hinds County, Mississippi. One of those was a quarter-mile residential loop in Bolton, where Thompson owns a home and two lots, and his daughter also owns a home.[22]

Campaign themes


  • Civil Rights

Excerpt: "It has been Congressman Thompson’s charge to support the fairness and equity as expressed in the Titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Congressman Thompson believes providing for fair and non-discriminatory practices in our schools, job sectors, and communities will prove to be vital in this country’s plans for a future where we out build, out educate and out innovate the rest of the world."[23]

  • Education

Excerpt: "While Congressman Thompson supports the ideal of high standards for measuring students and teachers, he believes it is imperative that public school districts receive the necessary funding that would provide innovative and educational tools to teachers, parents and students in their efforts to close the achievement gaps and raise achievement for all children."[24]

  • Economic Recovery

Excerpt: "The American Recovery and Reinvestment act (“Recovery Act”) is creating jobs and strengthening the economy. It is making a real difference for families, providing new resources to local governments and business, and helping to end the economic free fall that has gripped the country for more than 18 months."[25]

  • Energy And Environment

Excerpt: "To create the next generation of clean energy jobs, make our nation more secure and reduce the pollution that causes global warming, Congressman Thompson and Congressional Democrats are committed to investing in our nation’s clean energy future."[26]

  • Healthcare

Excerpt: "Mississippi continues to face tremendous challenges as we confront our health care needs...To help address these challenges Democrats introduce the Affordable Care Act of 2010."[27] [28]

—Bennie Thompson,



See also: Mississippi's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

Thompson is running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. He won the Democratic nomination in the primary election on June 3, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Mississippi District 2 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBennie Thompson Incumbent 95.7% 41,618
Damien Fairconetue 4.3% 1,860
Total Votes 43,478
Source: Mississippi Secretary of State - Official Democratic primary results


See also: Mississippi's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

Thompson won the election.[29] Thompson ran for re-election in 2012. He defeated Heather McTeer in the March 13, 2012 Democratic primary. He faced Bill Marcy (Republican), Cobby Williams (Independent), and Lajena Williams (Reform) in the November 2012 general election.[30][31]

U.S. House, Mississippi, District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBennie Thompson Incumbent 67.1% 214,978
     Republican Bill Marcy 31% 99,160
     Independent Cobby Williams 1.4% 4,605
     Reform Lajena Williams 0.5% 1,501
Total Votes 320,244
Source: Mississippi Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
Mississippi's 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBennie Thompson Incumbent 87.5% 49,083
Heather McTeer 12.5% 7,040
Total Votes 56,123


Thompson was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.[32]

  • Air Line Pilots Association PAC
  • American Federation of Government Employees
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Maritime Officers Voluntary PAF
  • American Postal Workers Union
  • Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen PAC
  • Committee on Letter Carriers
  • Communications Workers of America
  • International Association of Bridge Structual & Ornamental Ironworkers; Boilermakers; Electrical Works; and Teamsters
  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Laborers’ International Union North
  • MEBA Political Action Fund
  • National Air Traffic Controllers Association
  • National Education Association
  • National Postal Mail Handlers Union
  • National Treasury Employees PAC
  • Seafarers International Union
  • Sheet Metal Workers International
  • Transport Workers Union
  • United Association of Journeymen and APP; Auto Workers; Food and Commercial Workers; Auto Workers
  • United Mine Workers of America; Steel Workers of America PAF; United Transportation Union

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Thompson is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Thompson raised a total of $8,375,785 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[42]

Bennie Thompson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $1,208,367
2010 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $1,808,681
2008 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $2,147,392
2006 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $1,375,701
2004 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $756,391
2002 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $542,798
2000 U.S. House (Mississippi, District 2) Won $536,455
Grand Total Raised $8,375,785


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Thompson's reports.[43]

Bennie Thompson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[44]April 15, 2013$1,192,547.83$80,101.98$(71,497.34)$1,201,152.47
July Quarterly[45]July 15, 2013$1,201,152.47$198,445.56$(131,049.54)$1,268,548.49
October Quarterly[46]October 11, 2013$1,268,548.49$174,354.99$(107,647.08)$1,335,256.40
Year-End Quarterly[47]December 31, 2013$1,335,256$138,159$(126,524)$1,345,846
April Quarterly[48]April 14, 2014$1,345,846.73$95,849.15$(65,483.24)$1,376,212.64
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Thompson's campaign funds for the 2012 election.

Thompson won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Thompson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,208,368 and spent $1,765,172.[49]

Cost per vote

Thompson spent $8.22 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Thompson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Thompson won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Thompson's campaign committee raised a total of $1,808,681 and spent $1,343,456.[50]

U.S. House, Mississippi District 2, 2010 - Bennie Thompson Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $1,808,681
Total Spent $1,343,456
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $47,933
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $40,847
Top contributors to Bennie Thompson's campaign committee
American Assn for Justice$15,000
SAIC Inc$11,600
Air Line Pilots Assn$10,000
Amalgamated Transit Union$10,000
American Crystal Sugar$10,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$166,939
Transportation Unions$85,000
Sea Transport$64,798
Public Sector Unions$61,500

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have personally benefited from their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

PGI: Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Thompson's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $287,029 and $1,007,000. That averages to $647,014.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Thompson ranked as the 249th most wealthy representative in 2012.[51] Between 2004 and 2012, Thompson's calculated net worth[52] decreased by an average of 6 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[53]

Bennie Thompson Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-45%
Average annual growth:-6%[54]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[55]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[56]

Thompson most often votes with:

Thompson least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Thompson is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of June 17, 2013..[57]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Thompson missed 489 of 13,387 roll call votes from Apr 1993 to Apr 2013, which is 3.7% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[57]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Thompson paid his congressional staff a total of $1,024,403 in 2011. Overall, Mississippi ranked 41st in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[58]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Thompson is one of nearly 25% of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Thompson's staff was given an apparent $31,500.00 in bonus money.[59]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Thompson was ranked the 146th most liberal representative during 2012. This is the most liberal ranking earned by a representative of Mississippi in 2012.[60]


According to the data released in 2012, Bennie Thompson was ranked the 91st most liberal representative during 2011. This is the most liberal ranking held by any of the representatives of Mississippi.[61]

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Bennie Thompson has voted with the Democratic Party 96.2% of the time, which ranked 28th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[62]


Thompson has been married to his wife, London (née Johnson) for forty two years. They have one grown daughter and two grandchildren.[63]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Bennie + Thompson + Mississippi + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Bennie Thompson News Feed

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress, "Bennie Thompson," accessed December 3, 2011
  2., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  3. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "House of Representatives Committee Assignments," accessed December 3, 2011
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Bennie Thompson's Voting Records on National Security," accessed September 27, 2013
  7. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  8. Project Vote Smart, "Thompson on agriculture," accessed September 27, 2013
  9. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  10. Project Vote Smart, "Letter to Boehner," accessed September 12, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  12. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  13. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  14. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  15. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Bennie Thompson's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 27, 2013
  17. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Bennie Thompson's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed September 27, 2013
  18. Project Vote Smart, "Bennie Thompson on abortion," accessed September 27, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 On The Issues, "Bennie Thompson Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  21. Washington Post, "Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties," accessed February 6, 2012
  22. Washington Post, "Mapping the earmarks," accessed February 6, 2012
  23. Bennie Thompson, "Civil Rights," accessed October 10, 2012
  24. Bennie Thompson, "Education," accessed October 10, 2012
  25. Bennie Thompson, "Economic Recovery," accessed October 10, 2012
  26. Bennie Thomspon, "Energy and Environment," accessed October 10, 2012
  27. Bennie Thompson, "Healthcare," accessed October 10, 2012
  28. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  29. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Mississippi"
  30. WAPT 16, "Unofficial Mississippi Primary Results," accessed March 13, 2012
  31. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Results"
  32. Bennie Thompson, "Endorsements," accessed October 10, 2012
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Bennie Thompson," accessed May 16, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Thompson 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 18, 2013
  44. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  45. FEC, "July Quarterly," accessed July 18, 2013
  46. FEC, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  47. FEC, "Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 12, 2014
  48. FEC, "April Quarterly," accessed May 16, 2014
  49. Open Secrets, "2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 16, 2013
  50. Open Secrets, "Bennie Thompson 2010 Re-Election Cycle," accessed December 3, 2011
  51. Open Secrets, "Bennie Thompson (D-MS), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  52. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  53. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  54. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  55. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  56. OpenCongress, "Bennie Thompson," accessed August 5, 2013
  57. 57.0 57.1 GovTrack, "Bennie Thompson," accessed June 17, 2013
  58. LegiStorm, "Bennie G. Thompson," accessed October 8, 2012
  59. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  60. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  61. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  62. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
  63. Official House Site, "About Bennie," accessed December 3, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Espy (D)
U.S. House of Representatives - Mississippi, District 2
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Hinds County, Mississippi, Board of Supervisors
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mayor of Bolton, Mississippi
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Board of Aldermen, Bolton, Mississippi
Succeeded by