Four of five vacant seats in the Mississippi Legislature were decided this week, leaving only House District 87 to be filled.
The special election to replace Billy Andrews will be on November 3rd, the same ballot as this year’s General Election.
Three men have qualified for the race: Matthew Conoly, Joseph Tubb, and David Morgan.
Conoly is a career public school teacher who describes himself as “an absolute believer in the great Constitution of the United States of America and the rights that it bestows on all of us.” On his Facebook campaign page, Conoly says he will seek out legislation that will reduce regulation and produce tax reform. He focuses much attention on the education of students who are not college-bound, saying these students must be better tended.
“Some school districts are able to offer more than others, but we must improve vocational and career prep programs so that more high school graduates have job-ready skills that will help them in their quest for security, happiness and personal responsibility,” Conoly writes.
Conoly does not specifically mention a party affiliation on his page, but does use traditional Republican talking points in his ad, such as “limited…government” and “conservative economic philosophy.”
Tubb was one of 4 who ran against Andrews in the 2019 Republican Primary. He is a commercial realtor and businessman who says he is a “Conservative Republican” who will support policies that are pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment and protect our religious freedoms. Tubb highlights the need for business-minded representatives in the Mississippi House.
“As a member of the business community, I will work to promote pro-business policies and support economic development and growth in our area,” Tubb writes on his Facebook campaign page. “I understand the current business climate and challenges we are facing right now. I know how important the decisions that are being made everyday are to our business owners and those who depend on us.”
Tubb also says he is a strong advocate for education and teachers, adding, “Our teachers deserve more pay.”
One of his campaign ads from the 2019 cycle is shown below.
Morgan is a former member of the Hattiesburg Police Department and currently works offshore. He is also enlisted in the Air Force Reserves.
According to WDAM, Morgan is facing two felony counts after he was arrested by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and charged with cyberstalking on August 31st. MBI arrested Morgan again on September 28th and charged him with tampering with a witness.
Freshman state representative Andrews resigned in the spring due to the inability for lawmakers to draw on their retirement while serving in the Legislature.
“In spite of an Attorney General’s opinion and PERS regulations allowing PERS Retirees to serve in the Legislature, Philip Gunn has blocked all efforts to comply with the existing law and PERS regulations,” Andrews wrote of his resignation. “As a result, my PERS benefits have been suspended and the House of Representatives has refused to pay me less than normal salary and benefits. The end result is that I cannot continue to serve.”