By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Karl Gibbs of West Point had never held political office before being sworn in Thursday as the newest member of the state House, but he’s no political novice.
“I helped my father’s campaign every time he ran,” said Gibbs.
His father, the late Rep. David Gibbs, D-West Point, represented District 36 in the state House from 1993 until his death in January.
Tuesday, Gibbs defeated Eddie Longstreet in a runoff election to replace his father. On Thursday, the last day of the 2013 session, Gibbs was sworn in by Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton.
His mother, Annie; his wife, Sonya, and teenage son, Karl David, attended the swearing-in before the House convened Thursday morning.
Gibbs, 43, a Democrat, said, “I want to make District 36 the best district in the state.”
District 36 consists of most of Clay and portions of Monroe and Lowndes counties.
Gibbs said he will focus on improving education and health care for his constituents.
He said he had to give up his job at Columbus Air Force Base where he worked as a law enforcement officer.
Earlier this session, Angela Turner, also of West Point, won a special election to replace her father – Sen. Bennie Turner – in the state Senate representing District 16. He died late in 2012.
Like David Gibbs, Bennie Turner had served in the Legislature since 1993.