- Mississippi State Senate
Mississippi State Senate Mississippi State Legislature Type Type Upper house Term limits None New session started January 4, 2011 Leadership President of the Senate Phil Bryant, (R)
since January 10, 2008
President pro Tempore Billy Hewes, (R)
since January 3, 2007
Structure Members 52 Political groups Republican Party (27)
Democratic Party (24)
Length of term 4 years Authority Article IV, Mississippi Constitution Salary $10,000/year + per diem Elections Last election November 8, 2011
Next election November 5, 2015
Redistricting Legislative Control Meeting place State Senate Chamber
Mississippi State Capitol
Website Mississippi State Legislature
The Mississippi Senate is the upper house of the Mississippi Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Mississippi. The Senate is composed of 52 Senators representing an equal amount of constituent districts, with 54,704 people per district (2000 figures). Senators serve four-year terms with no term limits.
Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions and boards.
Senate defined by law
According to the current Mississippi Constitution of 1890, the Senate is to be composed of no more than 52 members elected for four-year terms. Elections to the Senate are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November during the state general elections.
Leadership of the Senate
The Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a legislative vote if required to break a tie. In his or her absence, the President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate. The President Pro Tempore is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the entire Senate through a Senate Resolution. Unlike other upper houses in state legislatures, the President Pro Tempore's power is limited. The Lieutenant Governor has the sole ability to appoint the chairmanships or vice chairmanships of various Senate committees, regardless of party size. The other Senate majority and minority leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses.
Affiliation Party(Shading indicates majority caucus) Total Democratic Republican Vacant End of previous legislature 25 27 52 0 Begin 28 24 52 0 February 2008 27 25 December 29, 2010 26 26 January 3, 2011 25 25 50 2 January 12, 2011 25 26 51 1 February 17, 2011 24 27 51 1 March 1, 2011 25 52 0 May 7, 2011 24 51 1 Latest voting share 47.1% 52.9%
Although the Democratic party retained their majority (27D to 25R) in the state Senate after the 2003 general election, a party switch by former Democratic Senator, James Shannon Walley of Leakesville threw control of the chamber to the Republicans. Walley was elected as a Democrat in 2003 to represent District 43, which includes George, Greene, Stone, and Wayne counties, then announced he was switching parties and won re-election as a Republican. Because the Lieutenant Governor at that time, Amy Tuck, was a Republican (and also a previous party switcher), this gave Republicans control of the Senate for the first time since Reconstruction and a defacto majority only on a tie vote.
Until January 2008, the Senate contained 25 Democrats and 27 Republicans. Democrats enjoyed a net gain of three seats in the November 6, 2007 statewide elections and won back control of the chamber by a 28-24 margin until Senator Nolan Mettetal announced his party switch in February, 2008. The Senate balance was 27-25, with the Democrats holding the slim majority until Cindy Hyde-Smith switched parties, giving the GOP a 26-26 de facto majority, with Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant holding the tiebreaker vote. After the switch of Ezell Lee on February 17, 2011, the GOP expanded their majority to 27-24, with one vacancy.
Members of the Mississippi Senate (2008-2011)
District Name Party 1st Doug E. Davis Republican 2nd Bill Stone Democratic 3rd Nickey Browning Democratic 4th Eric Powell Democratic 5th J. P. Wilemon Democratic 6th Nancy Adams Collins Republican 7th Hob Bryan Democratic 8th vacant vacant 9th Gray Tollison Democratic 10th H. Nolan Mettetal Republican 11th Robert L. Jackson Democratic 12th Derrick Simmons Democratic 13th Willie Lee Simmons Democratic 14th Lydia Chassaniol Republican 15th Gary Jackson Republican 16th Bennie L. Turner Democratic 17th Terry W. Brown Republican 18th Giles Ward Republican 19th Merle Flowers Republican 20th Lee Yancey Republican 21st Kenny Wayne Jones Democratic 22nd Eugene S. Clarke Republican 23rd Briggs Hopson Republican 24th David Lee Jordan Democratic 25th J. Walter Michel Republican 26th John A. Horhn Democratic 27th Hillman Terome Frazier Democratic 28th Alice Harden Democratic 29th David Blount Democratic 30th Dean Kirby Republican 31st Terry Clark Burton Republican 32nd Sampson Jackson II Democratic 33rd Videt Carmichael Republican 34th Haskins Montgomery Democratic 35th Perry Lee Republican 36th Vincent Davis Democratic 37th Bob Dearing Democratic 38th Kelvin Butler Democratic 39th Cindy Hyde-Smith Republican 40th Sidney Albritton Republican 41st Joey Fillingane Republican 42nd Chris McDaniel Republican 43rd Tommy Dickerson Democratic 44th Thomas E. King, Jr. Republican 45th Billy Hudson Republican 46th David Baria Democratic 47th Ezell Lee Republican 48th Deborah Jeanne Dawkins Democratic 49th Billy Hewes III Republican 50th Thomas Arlin Gollot Republican 51st Michael Watson Republican 52nd Tommy O. Moffatt Republican
- ^ Democrat Nolan Mettetal switches to the Republican party
- ^ Democrat Cindy Hyde-Smith switches to the Republican party.
- ^ Republican Alan Nunnelee resigns after assuming office in the 112th Congress, and Johnnie Walls, Jr. resigns the District 12 seat to become a district judge.
- ^ Republican Nancy Adams Collins elected to succeed Nunnelee.
- ^ Democrat Ezell Lee switches parties.
- ^ Democrat Derrick Simmons wins special election for the remainder of Johnnie Walls' (D) term (District 12). 
- ^ Democrat Jack Gordon dies (District 8). 
- Mississippi Legislature
- State Senate of Mississippi at Project Vote Smart
- Mississippi State Senate at Ballotpedia
Republican (27) • Democratic (24) • Vacant (1) • Mississippi Legislature • Mississippi House of Representatives • Mississippi State Senate
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