Mississippi House Rep. Jason White became the state’s 62nd House speaker following a unanimous vote of his colleagues in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the first day of the 2024 legislative session.
“The folks who sent us here are expecting us to adhere to our campaign promises, to hold fast to the ideas of limited government and individual freedom. However, as to this notion of purity in politics, let’s not be so heavenly minded that we do no earthly good,” the new Republican speaker said on the House floor Tuesday.
White serves District 48, which includes Attala, Carroll, Holmes and Leake counties and previously served as House speaker pro tempore under former House Speaker Philip Gunn. Voters first elected White as a Democrat in 2011, but he switched to the Republican Party in December 2012.
Mississippi’s House speaker runs the chamber and appoints representatives to various committees, giving the position significant power over which legislation is prioritized and which bills make it to the floor for a vote.
House Rep. Hank Zuber, R-Ocean Springs, nominated White for speaker and said the Kosciusko, Miss., native’s family values, intelligence and work ethic make White the right choice for the job.
“Jason understands that he needs to and will provide the leadership to make Mississippi the rising star—not just of the South, but we’re going to think big—the rising star of the United States,” Zuber said to his colleagues.
In his celebratory speech, White said he wanted to focus on fostering “a better, brighter Mississippi” by helping the state and its people without stoking partisan division. He added that Mississippi taxpayers’ dollars have recently funded significant improvements for infrastructure, including roads, bridges, highways and airports.
“We can truly say over these past 12 years that our state has begun moving down the track toward a future that is open to the world for business while still maintaining our hometown pride and great sense of community that makes our state one of the best places in this great nation to work, worship, raise a family and enjoy a quality of life that doesn’t
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