JACKSON — State Rep. Esther M. Harrison, who represented Lowndes County in the Legislature since 2000, has died.
Longtime friend Constance Slaughter-Harvey, speaking on the behalf the family, said Harrison died on her 69th birthday Wednesday morning at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis. The cause of death was not immediately released but Slaughter-Harvey says Harrison had been in and out of the hospital over several weeks.
Slaughter-Harvey said Harrison had been a kidney dialysis patient for 12 years.
“She would have dialysis in Columbus and then drive to Jackson in time to attend the session. That was the level of her commitment to her constituents,” Slaughter-Harvey said. “She was a soft-spoken woman but was strong in her convictions. We were close personal and professional friends.”
Harrison represented House District 41 located wholly in Lowndes County. She was a native of Columbus and was a former teacher and former business administrator.
Harrison was a candidate for re-election in the Aug. 4 Democratic Party primary against challenger Kabir Karriem. No Republican is running for the seat.
Harrison was chairwoman of the House State Library Committee in the 2008-2012 and was vice chairman of the committee this term. She also served on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. She was a past co-chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Survivors include a daughter, Aubra Berenice Givens.