House researches if Gibbs can reverse resignation

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — State House officials are trying to figure out if West Point Democrat David Gibbs can rescind his resignation from the Legislature.

House Speaker Phillip Gunn read Gibb’s resignation letter to the body Tuesday moments after he gaveled the 2013 session to order. Gibbs, who resigned because of poor health, sent a typewritten letter to Gunn in which a resignation date of Jan. 8 was written by hand.

House officials received word Wednesday that Gibbs or his family members wished to reverse the resignation. Nathan Wells, Gunn’s chief of staff, said House staff members were still trying to reach Gibbs’ wife Wednesday evening to confirm Gibbs’ true intentions. Gibbs remained hospitalized Wednesday.

House staff members said the letter might not be official until Gov. Phil Bryant receives it. Gibbs addressed his resignation to Gunn and House Clerk Andrew Ketchings.

The state’s election code says the Secretary of State’s office must be notified when an office is vacated by resignation or some other method.

Gibbs, 76, has been in the House since 1993. If his resignation goes through, Bryant would set a special election for House District 36, which includes parts of Clay, Lowndes and Monroe counties.

Bryant would have up to 30 days from Tuesday to order an election, which wouldn’t take place until at least 40 days after the governor sets the date. If a runoff was necessary, that could mean that no one will fill Gibbs’ seat for the remaining 88 days of the 2013 legislative session.

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