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House Republicans unanimously agree to elect Jason White as speaker

Jason White

As expected, Mississippi House Republicans are preparing to implement Rep. Jason White as the state’s newest speaker.

In a closed-door meeting on Wednesday in Madison, the 79-member GOP caucus unanimously chose White to take over the chamber’s highest position left open by outgoing Republican Philip Gunn.

White, who currently serves as speaker pro tempore, will not officially take over until Jan. 2 when a formal chamber vote is held. However, Republicans have a supermajority in the House and sources tell SuperTalk Mississippi News that all members have agreed to maintain their votes when lawmakers gavel in after the new year.

White, a three-term legislator from West, is expected to pass the torch of speaker pro tempore to Rep. Manly Barton, a Republican from Moss Point. The decision to elect Barton came on Wednesday as well.

Ever since Gunn informed his colleagues over a year ago that he did not plan to seek reelection, ending his run as speaker after the current term, SuperTalk Mississippi News has spoken to multiple lawmakers who predicted White to take over.

“I don’t think there are any secrets as far as I stand. I fully expect Jason White to be our next speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives,” Rep. Trey Lamar, a Republican from Senatobia, said in an August interview.

White, when sworn in, will oversee the 122-member House as decisions loom over healthcare, tax cuts, and reinstating the ballot initiative process.

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