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McCoy Will Not Seek Re-election

May 25, 2011
tags: 2011 Speaker, 2011 State House, Billy McCoy
by Brett

Speaker Billy McCoy released a statement moments ago saying he will not be a candidate for re-election this fall, which also means he will not be seeking a third term as Speaker of the House. McCoy has represented District Three, which includes Alcorn and Prentiss counties, since 1980.

McCoy has had health issues in the past, although he said his health is stable today. This August, he will turn 69 years old. In the release, McCoy said he plans to spend more times with friends and family “in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachians.”

This now sets up the fun part for political junkies. For Republicans, the quest for the Speaker’s office is certainly not set with just one announced Republican at this point, but this doesn’t alter things within the caucus that much. It is within the Democratic caucus that things will get interesting. Rep. Bobby Moak has long been regarded as the top alternative to McCoy should McCoy retire. I don’t think the Democratic choice will go as smooth as that however. The Black Caucus, which now makes up more than half the Democratic House members, will likely very well want a Caucus member in the race. And if they voted as a bloc, they would have the votes.

Now, for perceptions. McCoy’s announcement was the one everyone was waiting on, but it came just a week after another long time legislator, Speaker Pro Temp J.P. Compretta, decided to hang it up. This all comes as Republicans are looking to make their strongest push yet for the Speaker’s office. You can certainly paint the narrative that things are looking very good for Republicans based on these recent events. After all, McCoy said health wasn’t an issue and that his energy and interest was “as fervent as ever.”

During McCoy’s time as Speaker, which coincided with the rise of a true Republican minority in the House, the Speaker became a lightning-rod. You could make the argument that Republicans lose the ability to run against the controversial figure as we saw on the national level in 2010 (remember Fire Pelosi). The mission for Republicans is to make sure voters know that the quest is to elect a conservative Speaker, and that doesn’t change regardless of which Democrats are or are not running.

As for this district specifically, Democrat Bobby Wren is in. It is still more yellow-dog than most- only giving about 50 percent of the vote to Haley Barbour in 2007- but Republicans will likely get a candidate in there. Symbolism runs very high in politics, and the GOP would certainly love to capture the seat previously held by McCoy.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kat permalink
    May 25, 2011 8:42 pm

    The “king” has abdicated. May Mississippi have no more of his sort ever again.

  2. Mary McLaurin permalink
    May 26, 2011 11:33 am

    This is my response to King McCoy’s announcement that he is NOT running:

    • Of, for, and by the people permalink
      May 26, 2011 2:56 pm

      Hahahaha, I love it Mary!

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