Gray Tollison

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Gray Tollison
Gray Tollison.jpg
Mississippi State Senate, District 9
In office
1996 - present
Term ends
January 3, 2016
Years in position 18
Base salary$10,000/year
Per diem$123/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
First elected1995
Next generalNovember 3, 2015
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sRhodes College
J.D.University of Mississippi School of Law
BirthdaySeptember 8, 1964
Place of birthMemphis, Tennessee
Office website
Gray Tollison (b. September 8, 1964) is a Republican member of the Mississippi State Senate, representing the 9th District. He was first elected to the chamber in 1995.

From 1996 to November 2011, Tollison served as a member of the Democratic Party. On November 10, 2011, two days after being re-elected as a Democrat, Tollison announced his switch to the Republican Party.[1]


Tollison earned his B.A. from Rhodes College, and J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law. His professional experience includes working as an attorney.

Committee assignments


In the 2012-2013 legislative session, Tollison served on these committees:

Mississippi Committee Assignments, 2012
Education, Chair
Executive Contingent Fund, Vice Chair
Judiciary, Division B
Public Health and Welfare
Universities and Colleges
Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, Tollison served on these committees:

Mississippi Committee Assignments, 2010
Compilation, Revision and Publication
Fees, Salaries and Administration
Judiciary, Division B
Universities and Colleges
Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks


Campaign themes


On his website, Tollison highlighted the following campaign themes:[2]

  • Education: "To me, improving educational opportunities is the key to improving our quality of life. I have consistently fought for increased funding for education, and also made sure that we had accountability in our schools. We need to focus on the teacher and classroom and make sure our children are getting a quality education."
  • Jobs and Economic Development: "It is important that we invest in our people through education and workforce training, so they have the skills and knowledge to work in the ever-changing workplace. We also need to continue our investment in infrastructure for transportation, energy and technology and to ensure that the government is helpful in growing new jobs and not a hindrance."
  • Effective and Efficient Government: "Government is not the answer to all of society’s problems. It never has been. We have to work together as a community – private business, civic groups and churches – to seek real solutions to our problems. At the same time, state government has an important role in our community...We need to continue working on better ways to make government more effective and efficient."
  • Crime and Safety: "I have provided leadership in the legislature as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary B Committee for the past seven years. I have worked to increase penalties for crimes against children and vulnerable adults, to reform juvenile justice laws and to support our law enforcement officers."



See also: Mississippi State Senate elections, 2011

Tollison won re-election to the Mississippi Senate District 9.[3] He ran unopposed in the primary on August 2, 2011 and was to face Todd Wade (R) in the general election on November 8, 2011.[4] However, Wade was removed from the ballot in mid-September by the state Election Commission for failing to be a qualified elector of the state for four years.[5]

Two days after the election, Tollison switched parties.

Mississippi State Senate General Election, 2011, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democrat Green check mark transparent.pngGray Tollison Incumbent 100% 15,634
Total Votes 15,634


See also: Mississippi State Senate elections, 2007

On November 6, 2007, Gray Tollison ran unopposed for District 9 of the Mississippi State Senate.[6]

Gray Tollison raised $6,200 for his campaign.[7]

Mississippi Senate, District 9
Candidates Votes Percent
Gray Tollison (D) 11,648 100%

Campaign donors


In 2011, Tollison received $47,955 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[8]

Mississippi State Senate 2011 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Gray Tollison's campaign in 2011
Miss Hospital Association PAC$5,000
Homebuilders Of Mississippi Association PAC$2,000
Mississippi Bail Agents Association$1,000
Lafayette County Democratic Executive Cmte$1,000
Liston, William$1,000
Total Raised in 2011 $47,955
Total Votes received in 2011 15,634
Cost of each vote received $3.07


In 2009 Gray Tollison collected $12,200 in donations.[9]

His four largest contributors in 2009 were:

Donor Amount
Entertainment Software Association $1,500
Commonwealth Brands $1,000
Anheuser-Busch $1,000
AT&T $1,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Texas

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Texas scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 7 through April 2.[10]

Legislators are scored on "economic growth, jobs and other broad job-related issues."[11]


Tollison is married to his wife, Farish.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Mississippi State Senate District 9
Succeeded by