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Ailing state lawmaker withdraws letter of resignation

WEST POINT — Mississippi House officials say ailing Democratic Rep. David Gibbs of West Point remains a member of the Legislature.

A letter of resignation from Gibbs was never filed with the Secretary of State’s Office, so the resignation never took effect, said Nathan Wells, chief of staff for Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn.

When the legislative session opened Tuesday, Gunn read the House a resignation letter that had been signed by Gibbs, who is in poor health.

House clerk Andrew Ketchings said Gibbs’ family wrote another letter the same day, saying he wanted to rescind the resignation. But the second letter arrived at the Capitol another day.

House staffers researched the matter and found the resignation was never official because the first letter wasn’t filed with the secretary of state, as required by law.

“The resignation was never effectuated,” Wells said.

Gibbs, 76, has been in the House since 1993. He represents District 36, which includes parts of Clay, Lowndes and Monroe counties. Before serving in the Legislature, he was a member of the Clay County Board of Supervisors.

If he had resigned from the House, Gov. Phil Bryant would’ve had 30 days to set a special election to fill the vacancy, then the election would’ve taken place 40 days later. If a runoff were necessary, no one would fill the seat during the current three-month session.

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