Omeria Scott Briefly Objected To Gunn
Yesterday we talked about the decision by Democrats in the House to support Philip Gunn as Speaker of the House without objection. For some time, we had heard of Democrats like George Flaggs and Steve Holland saying they will support the GOP nominee because they have the majority. In fact, Flaggs made the motion to elect Gunn by acclamation.
At that point anyone could object and for a moment Rep. Omeria Scott (D-Laurel) did just that. Scott recently served as Chair of the Black Caucus; I imagine someone new will assume that role in the very powerful caucus which now makes up nearly two out of three House Democrats. And you may have read about some of her pre-election antics here and here.
But Scott, and any other Democrat, would soon drop their objection.
As for the Democratic caucus, we talked about their political calculations in deciding not to oppose Gunn with a sacrificial lamb type candidate. In Washington, this would be unheard of. Democrats put up Nancy Pelosi in 2011 and Republicans still nominated John Boehner in 2007 and 2009. And you can go back and look up previous elections for the same story. Nobody thought they would win, but at the same time it is impossible to imagine Bennie Thompson supporting Boehner or Gregg Harper backing Pelosi.
Of course, the minority has nothing to lose in DC. No minority member chairs a committee in Congress, but every committee has a Ranking Member. And committee’s numbers are set based on each party’s total numbers. So the minority is guaranteed a certain number of seats as opposed to Jackson where you run into a situation like we had last year where 90 percent of reapportionment committee members were Democrats because that was Billy McCoy’s right. And it’s now Gunn’s right.
But Washington has more history with a two-party system. There was no need for a Minority Leader in the state legislature 20 years ago.
Bobby Moak told Bobby Harrison with the Daily Journal that the party thought nominating a candidate wouldn’t be helpful, although some Democrats disagreed. As for Moak, the man who had been running for Speaker for some time, he is now the leader of the Democratic caucus. Serving as deputy leader will be Bryant Clark. Floor leaders for the Democrats include Kelvin Buck, Adrienne Wooten (of Ridgeland?), and David Baria.
Mark Baker served as GOP leader over the past four years. Yesterday, he was elected temporary speaker in the lead up to the vote for Gunn. It remains to be seen if he will remain in the leadership as part of the majority, which would put him number three behind Gunn and Greg Snowden, the pro temp.