During a caucus meeting at the Mississippi State Capitol Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Philip Gunn informed his colleagues that he will not be seeking reelection in 2023.
Gunn, R-Clinton, issued the following statement following the announcement:
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as Speaker of the Mississippi House. I am extremely grateful to the people of District 46 who have given me the opportunity to serve them for the last 20 years and to the members of the House who have entrusted the role of Speaker to me for 12 years. I believe we have moved Mississippi in a positive direction, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to another productive session in 2023.
Having said that, I have decided not to seek re-election for House District 56. My service as Speaker coming to an end does not mean I will not be open to future opportunities to serve. I love our state and will always work to make her better. I believe there will be an opportunity for me to serve our state soon and when that time comes, I will be ready.”
Gunn, R-Clinton, was originally elected to the legislature in 2004. In 2012, he became the first Republican speaker in Mississippi since Reconstruction.
It’s unclear who will work to replace Gunn. Although, much speculation over the last couple of months has suggested Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White, R-West, is actively seeking to become the next speaker.
Gunn’s current term officially ends January 2, 2024.