January 10, 2013 11:21:28 AM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
One day after Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn announced the resignation of veteran lawmaker David Gibbs, one member of the House is saying Gibbs may be trying to withdraw his resignation.
Gibbs, D-West Point, resigned Tuesday for health reasons.
"We had a chairman's meeting Wednesday and Speaker Gunn indicated Gibbs is contemplating withdrawing his resignation," said Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus. "Mr. Gibbs is taking some treatments that may prohibit him from being in Jackson. Some people are talking to him about coming down when he can."
Chism said that, should Gibbs' resignation remain in effect, the current legislative session would end before an election could be held to fill the seat.
Meg Allison, Director of Communications for the House denied any knowledge of Gibbs' withdrawal.
"We can't confirm anything," Allison said today. "Nothing has come through the House. Whatever is being said out there is just rumblings."
Should Gibbs' resignation not be allowed to be withdrawn, his absence could leave West Point and Clay County without a veteran legislator. Sen. Bennie Turner, who represented the 16th district for several years, died on Nov. 27. A special election called by Gov. Phil Bryant will be held Tuesday to fill Turner's seat. Clay County Prosecutor Angela Turner Lairy, Turner's daughter, and former West Point business owner Kenny Fowler have qualified for the election.
Gibbs served on the Democratic Executive Committee where he represented Clay County along with Anna Jones. Jones said she is confident people in Clay County and the 16th senate district and the 36th house district will rise to the challenge.
"We don't know what is going to happen with Rep. Gibbs," Jones said. "We don't yet know if he will legally be able to withdraw his resignation. There are a lot of competent people in Clay County and the area who can fill these voids. It's going to be a tough act to follow. Sen. Turner and Rep. Gibbs have served their constituents well and they have fought hard for the people of Clay County."
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office has not issued a ruling on whether Gibbs can legally withdraw his resignation.
Gibbs represents the 36th District which includes portions of Clay, Lowndes and Monroe counties. He has held the position for more than two decades.