Notes on Northeast Mississippi House members

Brian Aldridge, R-Tupelo

ALDRIDGE

ALDRIDGE

Aldridge, 36, was elected to the House in 2003 and has been a consistent vote for first the Republican minority and now Republican majority. He served at one point as chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Conservative Coalition when Republicans were in the minority in the House. He currently serves as chairman of the Interstate Cooperation Committee and represents District 17 – all located in Lee County.

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William Tracy Arnold, R-Booneville

ARNOLD

ARNOLD

Arnold, 44, a pastor, was elected to the House in 2011, succeeding longtime member and former speaker Billy McCoy. While McCoy was a leader in the state Democratic Party during his final two terms as speaker, Arnold is viewed as representing the more conservative wing of the Republican Party on most issues. The freshman Arnold is on some key committees, including Education, Transportation and Medicaid. He represents District 3, which consists of most of Prentiss and a small portion of Alcorn counties.

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Nick Bain, D-Corinth

BAIN

BAIN

Bain, 34, has been an active member during his first term, having been elected in 2011. He was one of the leaders in opposing the expansion of charter schools, resulting in the legislation that passed last year being more narrow in scope. Among his committee assignments are Education and Judiciary B. His District 2 is located in Alcorn County.

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Jim Beckett, R-Bruce

BECKETT

BECKETT

Beckett, 55, was elected in 2003 and is chairman of the Public Utilities Committee. He also has garnered considerable influence due to his membership on the Appropriations and Legislative Redistricting committees. He is an attorney. Beckett represents District 23, which consists of most of Calhoun and portions of Clay, Oktibbeha and Webster counties.

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Donnie Bell, R-Fulton

BELL

BELL

Bell, who works as a health care administrator, chairs the Workforce Development Committee and also is on Appropriations and Transportation. Bell, 50, was elected in 2007 as a Democrat and easily won re-election in 2011. But soon after re-election, Bell switched parties, but said his position on key issues, such as education and protecting the Public Employees Retirement System and maintaining civil service protection for state employees would not change. And on most issues, Bell’s votes have not changed since the party switch. Bell’s District 21 consists of portions of Itawamba and Monroe counties.

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Randy Boyd, R-Mantachie

BOYD

BOYD

Boyd, 59, is in his first term and has been aligned on most issues with the more conservative faction of the Republican Party. Boyd, a forester and land surveyor, served on both Education and Medicaid among his committee assignments. Boyd represents District 19, which consists of portions of Itawamba, Lee and Tishomingo counties.

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Chris Brown, R-Aberdeen

BROWN

BROWN

Brown, 42, is a business owner. He was part of a group of candidates in Northeast Mississippi who gave control of the state House to the Republican Party in 2012 for the first time since the 1800s. The freshman is firmly entrenched as part of the Republican establishment, though he was reluctant, like some other Northeast Mississippi members, on broadly expanding charter school legislation. He is one of the few freshmen on Ways and Means and also is on Transportation and Medicaid. Brown represents District 20, which consists of a sizable portion of Monroe County and a portion of Lowndes County.

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Lester “Bubba” Carpenter, R-Burnsville

CARPENTER

CARPENTER

Carpenter, 43, a paramedic, was elected to the House in 2007. He is vice chairman of Banking and Financial Services and, among his other committee assignments are Tourism and Universities and Colleges. Carpenter represents District 1, which consists of parts of Tishomingo and Alcorn counties.

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Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville

ELLIS

ELLIS

Ellis, 67, is a businessman and pastor and is one of the longest serving members of the House, first being elected in 1979. He is the former House majority leader in the previous term. He currently serves on Elections and Ways and Means among his committee assignments. His District 38 consists of portions of Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties.

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John Gary Faulkner, D-Holly Springs

FAULKNER

FAULKNER

Faulkner, 48, was elected to the House in a November special election to replace Kelvin Buck, who resigned this past summer after being elected mayor of Holly Springs. Faulkner said he became interested in the House seat while serving as Buck’s campaign manager for his mayoral campaign. He is a youth court counselor. He will represent District 5, which covers most of Marshall County and a portion of Benton County.

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Karl Gibbs, D-West Point

GIBBS

GIBBS

Gibbs was elected to the House in April to replace his father David Gibbs, who died in office. Gibbs, 44, is a police officer and served only a short stint before the 2013 session concluded. House Speaker Philip Gunn has yet to announce his committee assignments.

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Steve Holland, D-Plantersville

HOLLAND

HOLLAND

Holland, 58, is probably best known for his sometimes controversial and off-color comments. But he also is an effective member who is viewed as one of the Legislature’s leading authorities on Medicaid and health care issues. He served as Public Health chairman under the previous administration and is now on Ways and Means and Transportation among his committee assignments. Holland is one of the longest-serving members of the House, having been elected in 1993. He represents District 16, which is located solely in Lee County.

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Mac Huddleston, R-Pontotoc

HUDDLESTON

HUDDLESTON

Huddleston, 70, is in his second term in the House and serves as vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Other key committee assignments include Apportionment and Elections and Legislative Redistricting. He is a veterinarian and criminal investigator. He represents District 15, which consists of most of Pontotoc County.

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Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat

MASSENGILL

MASSENGILL

Massengill, 47, is in his first term in the House. Massengill bucked the party leadership, opposing charter school legislation. Massengill, a maintenance manager for a trucking company, is vice chairman of the Transportation Committee and has been active in transportation issues. He also is on the Education Committee. Massengill represents District 13, which consists of most of Benton and portions of Marshall, Lafayette and Union counties.

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Brad Mayo, R-Oxford

MAYO

MAYO

Mayo, 33, is an attorney and is a freshman in the House. Mayo is a member of the Education Committee and was active in various education issues, including being a strong supporter of charter school legislation. He also is on several other key committees, including Ways and Means, Medicaid and Public Health. Mayo’s District 12 is confined to Lafayette County.

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Margaret Ellis Rogers, R-New Albany

ROGERS

ROGERS

Rogers, 64, has been in the House since being elected in 2003 and was well-known for bucking the leadership of her Democratic Party. But Rogers switched to the Republican Party before running in 2011 and has proven just as independent in her new party, opposing charter school legislation. Rogers is an accountant. She is chairperson of the State Library Committee and other key committee assignments include Appropriations and PEER. Her District 14 consists of Union and a tiny portion of Pontotoc counties.

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Jody Steverson, D-Ripley

STEVERSON

STEVERSON

Steverson, 45, is a freshman member, who was vocal on such issues as opposing charter school legislation. Steverson works in the cable television industry. A member of the Transportation Committee, Steverson has spent a great deal of time focusing on transportation issues related to his district. Other key committee assignments include Public Utilities and Universities and Colleges. His District 4 consists of most of Tippah and portions of Union and Benton counties.

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Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona

SULLIVAN

SULLIVAN

Sullivan, 66, is a cattleman and probably has as much power as any Democratic member of the House, perhaps due to the fact he served as the deskmate to Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton. Sullivan chairs the Agriculture Committee and his other committee assignments include Appropriations and the Legislative Budget Committee. He was elected to the House in 2003. His District 22 consists of Chickasaw and portions of Calhoun and Pontotoc counties.

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Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn

TURNER

TURNER

Turner, 72, is a small businessman who was first elected to the House in 2003. He chairs the Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee and has been active in ensuring more transparency into the state’s budgeting process. He also is on Transportation and Ways and Means among his committee assignments. He represents District 18, which consists of portions of Lee and Prentiss counties.