Kirby stated that “all things point in this direction”, to Mississippi Today. “I don’t have an opponent (for this post), and I have the votes at the moment. “Of course, senators still need to vote.” The position of pro-tem is constitutionally created and preside in the absence the lieutenant governor. The pro-tem is also the chair of the Rules Committee, oversees the administration of the Senate, and is the third in line for gubernatorial succession. Kirby, who was elected to the Senate in 1992, stated that he has pledges from every senator except one. Kirby said that he was unable to reach one senator because he didn’t want to reveal his identity. The pro-tem and the lieutenant governor have always worked closely together. Kirby was praised by Delbert Hosemann (the secretary of state), Hosemann stated that Dean Kirby was one of the most respected senators and that he is proud of his leadership. Kirby, who is the owner of an insurance agency, has previously served as chair of both Finance and Insurance committees. Kirby has been chair of the Public Health Committee for eight years. Numerous members voted in support of Kirby. “I do support him,” said Sen. Angela Turner-Ford, D-West Point. “I have never seen him react in any way that was inappropriate. He is always respectful of others and I respect that. He is a long-serving senator, and I think he will provide good guidance.” Sen. Brice WIggins, R.Pascagoula said that he enjoys working with Kirby. Wiggins served as vice chair of Public Health, which was presided over by Kirby. Kirby also served on the Medicaid Committee, which was chaired Wiggins. Wiggins stated, “It’s been a great working relationship.” He has also taught me some valuable lessons. He has done a lot of good things. He has the knowledge and experience to understand the pro-tem position. So, yes, I believe he will be a good protem when it comes.” Kirby said that while he stressed that senators still need to vote and that he does not take the election as a given, he expressed excitement about the possibility of being “the senator’s Senator,” the title that has been assigned to the position. He said that he is as excited now as he was when he was first sworn into office. After being charged with driving under the influence, Sen. Terry Burton (Republican from Newton) was elected pro-tem in 2016. He resigned during the 2019 session. Gray Tollison (R-Oxford) was elected to the position to complete the four-year-old term. Tollison didn’t seek re-election.