/Gunn again named speaker, White tapped as pro tem at Republican caucus meeting

Gunn again named speaker, White tapped as pro tem at Republican caucus meeting

It was not surprising that the Republican caucus voted to support Gunn for a fourth-year term. The 74-member Republican Caucus met Thursday at the Mississippi Agriculture Museum to support Gunn and to elect Jason White of West as the next speaker protem. Gunn and White were the only two candidates from the caucus. On Thursday’s opening day, the Republicans, which hold a three fifths supermajority in the 122-member House of Representatives, will vote unanimously to support Gunn and White. White, who was the chair of the Rules Committee since 2011, was first elected to the House as a Democrat. But, shortly thereafter, December 2012, he switched to the Republican Party. Gunn chose him to be pro-tem. He replaced Greg Snowden (R-Meridian), who was defeated in a Republican primary earlier this year. Gunn was elected speaker in the last two terms, succeeding Billy McCoy from Prentiss county. Gunn was the first Republican state speaker since the late 1800s. Isaac Shadd (an African American newspaper owner) was the last Republican speaker to speak before Gunn. It was expected that Republicans would retain their majority in Congress in Tuesday’s elections. They lost one seat. Rep. Donnie Bell (R-Fulton) said that he believes both Gunns and White will do well. “They were both my desk mates. Bell jokingly said that he had trained both of them. The selection was also approved by Randy Boyd (R-Mantachie), who also agreed. He said, however, that he doesn’t get too involved in the selection. They are powerful positions. But the members will be able to vote and discuss the issues. The pro-tem manages the House staff and presides in the absence the speaker. A new pro-tem will also be decided by the state Senate. Terry Burton (R-Newton) resigned early in 2019, and Gray Tollison (R-Oxford), was elected to replace him. Gray Tollison did not run for reelection. Many political observers believe Dean Kirby (R-Pearl) is the front-runner to the post. The lieutenant governor usually plays a part in selecting the pro-tem. However, the Senate’s 52 members vote on the matter. The Republicans won three seats in Tuesday’s election, giving them a commanding majority of 36-16. Republican Delbert Hosemann (a three-term secretary of state) defeated Jay Hughes of Oxford for the seat of lieutenant governor. He presides over Senate.