House Speaker Billy McCoy punctuated a narrow victory Tuesday over fellow Democrat Jeff Smith after a contentious race with a call for divided lawmakers to reconcile.
House members agreed, but Republicans voiced concern McCoy would not follow through by including more of their minority membership in House business. No Republicans voted for McCoy.
McCoy, D-Rienzi, received 62 votes, a majority of support from the 122-member House in an election that took center stage on the first day of the 2008 legislative session.
Some Democrats irritated by a partisanship that has increased since GOP Gov. Haley Barbour took office in 2004 didn’t offer much encouragement.
“We’re going to govern with a consensus, and that consensus starts with 62 Democrats (who supported McCoy),” said House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Steve Holland, a Democrat from Plantersville.