Gibbs’ resignation from House now up in air

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – The Mississippi House leadership was researching late Wednesday whether David Gibbs’ resignation from the Legislature is official.
On Tuesday, the opening day of the 2013 session, Gibbs, a West Point Democrat, submitted a letter saying “due to health problems and the desire to spend more time with my family, I respectfully resign.”
But apparently on Wednesday, there were indications that Gibbs, who has been in the House since 1993, might have decided he did not want to step down.
House staff members were researching the issue of what officially constitutes a resignation.
Gibbs represents District 36, which consists of portions of Clay, Lowndes and Monroe counties.
A special election already is scheduled for Tuesday in much of that area to replace Sen. Bennie Turner, D-West Point, who died in November.
Senate District 16 consists of all of Clay and portions of Oktibbeha, Lowndes, and Noxubee counties.
Turner’s daughter, Angela Turner Lairy, and Kenny Fowler, both of West Point, are vying in the contest.
The winner will get to serve the bulk of the 2013 legislative term, which is just getting under way. It started Tuesday and is scheduled to run for 90 days.
In the coming days, Brent Powell will be sworn in as a new member of the House from Rankin County. He won a special election Tuesday to replace Kevin McGee, who resigned last year over ethics issues.
And besides the Senate District 16 special election, another one is scheduled for February to replace Sen. Alice Harden, D-Jackson, who died in December.
If Gibbs does resign, by the time a special election can be scheduled to fill his post, most of the 2013 session, if it ends on time, will be completed.
It also was announced on Wednesday that Gov. Phil Bryant will give his state of the state speech at 5 p.m. Jan. 22 to a joint legislative session in the House chamber.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com