Difference between revisions of "Mississippi House of Representatives"

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Revision as of 13:20, 11 December 2013

Mississippi House of Representatives

Seal of Mississippi.jpg
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Philip Gunn, (R)
Majority Leader:   TBA (R)
Minority Leader:   Tyrone Ellis (D)
Members:  122
   Democratic Party (55)
Republican Party (67)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art IV, Mississippi Constitution
Salary:   $10,000/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2007 (122 seats)
Next election:  November 3, 2015 (122 seats)
Redistricting:  Legislature first draws, Commission acts as back-Up.
The Mississippi House of Representatives is the lower house of the Mississippi State Legislature. 122 members serve in the House and are elected to four-year terms every four odd-numbered years. Each member represents an average of 24,322 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 23,316 residents.[2] The session begins the first Tuesday of each January and each session meets for only 90 days during that term unless the governor orders a special session[3].

As of May 2015, Mississippi is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article IV of the Mississippi Constitution establishes when the Mississippi State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to meet. Section 36 of Article IV states that the legislature is to convene in regular session on the Tuesday following the first Monday in January of each year. Section 36 limits the length of regular sessions to ninety calendar days, except for once every four years when the regular session can last up to one hundred twenty-five calendar days. The most recent one hundred twenty-five day session was in 2008, and the next session of this kind was in 2012.

Section 36 also allows the Legislature to extend its sessions for thirty days by a two-thirds vote of both legislative houses. There is no limit on the number of times a session can be extended in this way. In 2010, the Legislature extended its session once, moving the date of adjournment from April 3rd to May 3rd.

Article V of the Mississippi Constitution gives the Governor of Mississippi the power to call the Legislature into extraordinary session. Section 121 of Article V enumerates this power.


See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 7 through April 6.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through April 7.

Major issues

Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included creating a budget, charter schools, and medicaid expansion.[4]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature was in session from January 3 through May 3.[5]


In 2011, the House was in session from January 4 through April 7. [6]


In 2010, the House was originally scheduled to be in session from January 5th to April 3rd. However, the session was extended to May 3rd. Additionally, a special session was held that convened on April 22nd and adjourned on April 23rd.[7]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Mississippi was given a grade of B in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[8]



See also: Mississippi House of Representatives elections, 2011

Elections for the office of Mississippi House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 2, 2011 and a general election on November 8, 2011. All 122 seats were up for election.

During the 2011 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $5,714,010. The top 10 contributors were:[9]

2011 Donors, Mississippi House of Representatives
Donor Amount
Mississippi Republican Party $277,241
Mississippi Association For Justice $180,291
Mississippi Hospital Association $138,750
Improve Mississippi $134,802
Mississippi House Republican Conference $110,500
Mississippi Bankers Association $109,000
Mississippi Medical Association $99,000
Mississippi Association Of Realtors $86,000
Believe PAC $78,647
House Democratic Victory PAC $63,190


Elections for the office of Mississippi State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 7, 2007 and a general election on November 6, 2007. All 122 seats were up for election. As of the 2000 Census, Mississippi's 122 state representatives each represented an average population of 23,317 people.

During the 2007 election, the total contribution to House candidates was $6,201,617. The top 10 donors were:[10]


Elections for the office of Mississippi House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 5, 2003 and a general election on November 4, 2003. All 122 seats were up for election.

During the 2003 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $4,346,149. The top 10 contributors were:[11]

2003 Donors, Mississippi House of Representatives
Donor Amount
Mississippi Medical Association $245,936
Mississippi Bankers Association $96,300
Improve Mississippi $69,787
Mississippi Association Of Realtors $67,750
Home Builders Association Of Mississippi $63,000
Reynolds, Thomas U. (Tommy) $61,352
Electric Power Associates Of Mississippi $60,100
Moak, Bobby $56,561
BellSouth $54,150
Lawyers Involved For Mississippi Betterment $52,845


In order to run for the Mississippi House of Representatives, a candidate must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Be a qualified elector and resident of the State of Mississippi for four years.
  • Be a resident of the county or district a candidate plans to represent for two years.
  • If running as a Republican or Democrat, pay a $15 filing fee to the party's State Executive Committee the candidate is affiliated with.
  • If running as an independent, submit 50 signatures to the Circuit Clerk or the Secretary of State[12].


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the House, a special election is required to fill the vacant seat. The Governor must call for an election no later than 30 days after the vacancy happened. After the Governor sets the election date, the counties conducting the election must give no less than 45 days notice before the election. All qualifying deadlines are 30 days before the election.[13]

No special election is held if the vacancy happens after June 1st in an election year.[14]

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 55
     Republican Party 67
Total 122

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Mississippi State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Mississippi State House.PNG


See also: Redistricting in Mississippi

The five-member Standing Joint Reapportionment Committee handles redistricting, with no veto power afforded to the Governor. Should it fail to finalize a plan on time, a backup commission -- composed of the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the Majority Leaders of both legislative chambers -- would take over the process. Mississippi is required to have its maps pre-cleared by the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act.

2010 census

Mississippi received its local census data on February 3, 2011. The state's population grew 4.3 percent, with several of its well-known cities (Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi) losing as much as 13 percent. Most of the state's population loss was in the north-central region and along the western edge.

Republicans controlled the Legislature and governorship at the time of redistricting. Because Mississippi holds legislative elections in odd-numbered years, the legislature was given a tight deadline -- June 1, 2011 -- for redistricting in time for the 2011 elections while allowing 60 days of review by the DOJ. The deadline passed without a plan, meaning any new maps would not take effect until 2015. Elections were held with the previous maps, and the House passed a new map in April 2012, with the Senate following in May.[15] The House plan includes five two-incumbent races. As of August 18, 2012, the maps were still with the Department of Justice for pre-clearance.[16]



The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.[17]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Mississippi House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Philip Gunn Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Leader Tyrone Ellis Electiondot.png Democratic


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Mississippi legislature are paid $10,000/year. Per diem is $109/day tied to the federal rate.[18]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Mississippi legislators assume office the first day of the regular session of the year following election. The Constitution requires the Legislature to convene yearly on the Tuesday after the first Monday in January.

Current members

Current members, Mississippi House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Lester Carpenter Ends.png Republican 2008
2 Nick Bain Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
3 William Arnold Ends.png Republican 2012
4 Jody Steverson Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
5 Kelvin Buck Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
6 Eugene Hamilton Ends.png Republican 2004
7 Wanda Jennings Ends.png Republican 1998
8 Trey Lamar Ends.png Republican 2012
9 Clara Burnett Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
10 Nolan Mettetal Ends.png Republican 2012
11 Lataisha M. Jackson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12 Brad Mayo Ends.png Republican 2012
13 Steve Massengill Ends.png Republican 2012
14 Margaret Rogers Ends.png Republican 2004
15 Mac Huddleston Ends.png Republican 2008
16 Steve Holland Electiondot.png Democratic 1984
17 Brian Aldridge Ends.png Republican 2004
18 Jerry Turner Ends.png Republican 2004
19 Randy Boyd Ends.png Republican 2012
20 Chris Brown Ends.png Republican 2012
21 Donnie Bell Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
22 Preston Sullivan Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
23 Charles Beckett Ends.png Republican 2004
24 Kevin Horan Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
25 Gene Alday Ends.png Republican 2012
26 Chuck Espy Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
27 Ferr Smith Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
28 Tommy Taylor Ends.png Republican 2012
29 Linda Coleman Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
30 Robert Huddleston Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
31 Sara Thomas Electiondot.png Democratic 1998
32 Willie Perkins, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
33 Thomas Reynolds, II Electiondot.png Democratic 1980
34 Linda Whittington Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
35 Joey Hood Ends.png Republican 2012
36 Karl Gibbs Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
37 Gary Chism Ends.png Republican 2000
38 Tyrone Ellis Electiondot.png Democratic 1980
39 Jeffrey Smith Ends.png Republican 1992
40 Pat Nelson Ends.png Republican 2012
41 Esther Harrison Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
42 Reecy Dickson Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
43 Michael Evans Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
44 C. Scott Bounds Ends.png Republican 2004
45 Bennett Malone Electiondot.png Democratic 1980
46 Bobby Howell Ends.png Republican 1992
47 Bryant Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
48 Jason White Ends.png Republican 2012
49 Willie Bailey Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
50 John Hines Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
51 Rufus Straughter Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
52 Bill Kinkade Ends.png Republican 2013
53 Bobby Moak Electiondot.png Democratic 1984
54 Alex Monsour Ends.png Republican 2008
55 Oscar Denton Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
56 Philip Gunn Ends.png Republican 2004
57 Edward Blackmon, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1984
58 Rita Martinson Ends.png Republican 1992
59 Brent Powell Ends.png Republican 2013
60 John Moore Ends.png Republican 1996
61 Ray Rogers Ends.png Republican 1984
62 Tom Weathersby Ends.png Republican 1992
63 Deborah Butler Dixon Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
64 Bill Denny Ends.png Republican 1988
65 Mary Coleman Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
66 Cecil Brown Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
67 Earle Banks Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
68 Credell Calhoun Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
69 Alyce Clarke Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
70 James Evans Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
71 Adrienne Wooten Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
72 Kimberly Campbell Buck Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
73 Brad Oberhousen Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
74 Mark Baker Ends.png Republican 2004
75 Tom Miles Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
76 Gregory Holloway, Sr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2000
77 Andy Gipson Ends.png Republican 2008
78 Randy Rushing Ends.png Republican 2012
79 Blaine Eaton, II Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
80 Omeria Scott Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
81 Stephen Horne Ends.png Republican 2004
82 Charles Young Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
83 Elton Gregory Snowden Ends.png Republican 2000
84 William Shirley Ends.png Republican 2012
85 America Chuck Middleton Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
86 Sherra Lane Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
87 Johnny Stringer Electiondot.png Democratic 1980
88 Gary Staples Ends.png Republican 2004
89 Bobby Shows Ends.png Republican 1992
90 Joseph Warren Electiondot.png Democratic 1980
91 Robert Evans Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
92 Becky Currie Ends.png Republican 2008
93 Timmy Ladner Ends.png Republican 2012
94 Robert Johnson, III Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
95 Patricia H. Willis Ends.png Republican 2013
96 Angela Cockerham Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
97 Sam Mims, V Ends.png Republican 2004
98 David Myers Electiondot.png Democratic 1996
99 Bill Pigott Ends.png Republican 2008
100 Ken Morgan Ends.png Republican 2007
101 Hank Lott Ends.png Republican 2012
102 Toby Barker Ends.png Republican 2008
103 Percy Watson Electiondot.png Democratic 1980
104 Larry Byrd Ends.png Republican 2008
105 Dennis DeBar Ends.png Republican 2012
106 Herbert Frierson Ends.png Republican 1992
107 Doug McLeod Ends.png Republican 2012
108 Mark Formby Ends.png Republican 1993
109 Manly Barton Ends.png Republican 2012
110 Jeramey Anderson Electiondot.png Democratic Dec. 2013
111 Charles Busby Ends.png Republican 2012
112 John Read Ends.png Republican 1994
113 Henry Zuber, III Ends.png Republican 2000
114 Jeffrey S. Guice Ends.png Republican 2008
115 Randall Patterson Electiondot.png Democratic 2004
116 Casey Eure Ends.png Republican 2011
117 Scott DeLano Ends.png Republican 2010
118 Greg Haney Ends.png Republican 2012
119 Sonya Williams-Barnes Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
120 Richard Bennett Ends.png Republican 2008
121 Carolyn Crawford Ends.png Republican 2012
122 David Baria Electiondot.png Democratic 2012

Standing committees

Mississippi House of Representatives has 46 standing committees:

It also has three select committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Mississippi’’
Partisan breakdown of the Mississippi legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Mississippi State House of Representatives for the first 20 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last two years. The Mississippi State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. The final three years of the study depicted a shift not only in the Mississippi House but in the entire state government to the Republican party with the last two years being Republican trifectas.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Mississippi, the Mississippi State Senate and the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Mississippi state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Mississippi state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Mississippi has consistently ranked in the bottom-2 of the SQLI ranking regardless of a trifecta or a divided government. The state has been ranked in the last place for fifteen separate years and ranked 49th six separate years. Mississippi had two trifecta, both Democratic and Republican, between 2000 and 2004 and in 2012, respectively.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 49.75
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 50
  • SQLI average with divided government: 49.69
Chart displaying the partisanship of Mississippi government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links