The Mississippi House Republican Conference unanimously agreed Thursday that GOP members will vote together as a group to elect a new Speaker of the House other than incumbent Rep. Billy McCoy (D-Rienzi) for a new four-year term of office beginning in January, 2008. “We’re going to have a new Speaker next January, and it’s not going to be Billy McCoy,” said Assistant Republican Leader Greg Snowden (R-Meridian). “In our opinion, he cannot be re-elected Speaker without Republican votes, and it is clear he will have none.”
According to GOP Conference Chair Philip Gunn (R-Clinton), who presided at the meeting attended by most of the body’s 47 current Republican members, there was approval without dissent of the resolution presented by Rep. Snowden. “We’re pointing to the future,” said Gunn. “Mississippians expect legislators to work together to move our state forward, and not just to fuss and fight all the time. This [the resolution] is all about stopping the silly quarrels in the House and beginning to conduct the people’s business in an orderly and productive manner.”
All new and returning House members elected this year will vote on January 8, 2008 for a new Speaker when the House first organizes itself that day. Although the GOP may come up short of the 62 votes necessary to command an outright majority in the 122-member House, Republicans expect easily to wield enough strength after the November elections to combine with conservative Democrats to elect a replacement for McCoy.
“Ours is a conservative state, and our people want a conservative-led Legislature,” said Rep. Herb Frierson (R-Poplarville). “In the Senate, the Lt. Governor leads; but for House members, leadership must come from the Speaker’s office.”
“It’s so good to join colleagues meeting in good faith, with great respect for each other, and working together for a common purpose,” said Rep. Ray Rogers (R-Pearl). “Mississippi has a bright future, and House conservatives must help lead our state toward that future.” Rogers, a 23-year House veteran, was instrumental in the formation of the House Republican Conference last year.
There follows the text of the resolution unanimously adopted by the House Republican Conference on Thursday, August 30:
BE IT RESOLVED – That the Mississippi House Republican Conference shall support the election of a new Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives at the elections on Tuesday, January 8, 2008.
MS Republican Party Press Release