January 9, 2013 12:49:53 PM
Rep. David Gibbs, D-West Point, resigned from the Mississippi House of Representatives Tuesday during the opening day of the state's legislative session, ending more than 21 years of representing the people of Clay County and surrounding areas.
Speaker of the House Philip Gun announced Gibbs' resignation in a statement.
"I am saddened by Rep. Gibbs' resignation," Gunn said. "He has served his district well for 21 years. We will continue to pray for him. We wish him and his family well."
A source close to Gibbs said he was resigning for health reasons.
Gibbs represents parts of Clay, Lowndes and Monroe counties in the 36th District. He was a member of the Agriculture, Appropriations, County Affairs and Youth and Family Affairs committees and is a former chairman of the County Affairs Committee.
Gov. Phil Bryant has not set a date for a special election in District 36.
While his colleagues remember Gibbs as a quiet man, he was very vocal with his displeasure over the state's redistricting plan in 2012.
"This plan takes most of Clay County out of my district," Gibbs said in April. "I don't like it. This was drawn up to help the Republican Party but it will pass the Senate, there's no doubt about it. It appears to me they are trying to make all white districts and all black districts. Clay County is a true majority minority district."
Rep. Gary Chism said Gibb's presence in the House will be missed.
"This really caught us by surprise," Chism said. "He has been a solid legislator for years. He was a quiet man on the floor. He didn't make a lot of enemies."
Gibbs' resignation comes less then two months after the death of West Point Sen. Bennie Turner. Turner's daughter and Clay County prosecutor Angela Turner Lairy and former West Point businessman Kenny Fowler are on the ballot for the Jan. 15 election to fill Turner's seat.
1. Ball family member denies connection to Black Friday boycott COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Columbus man charged with downtown robbery COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Boycott planned over Ricky Ball shooting COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY