District Three Constable Phil Gann announces plan to retire
LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – One of the longest-serving elected officials in Lee County history is retiring.
District Three Constable Phil Gann spoke about his decision to not run for an 11th term, and his future plans.
It was 1983 when Phil Gann was elected to his first term as Lee County Constable, and he has never looked back.
“Never even thought about it, had no idea that once I got elected I would make a career of it and stay in the same position,” said Gann.
He still has the poster from his first campaign. Before he became a constable, Gann worked in law enforcement and said he was encouraged to run by one of his friends.
“Many years ago, Lamar Kelly was police chief of Verona, we sat and had a talk one day and he convinced me to run as well as the fact my older brother Perry was also in law enforcement, so I kind of followed him,” said Gann.
Through four decades, Gann has worked with 13 judges, 11 constables, six sheriffs, 16 supervisors, and three Justice Court Clerks. He has also won numerous awards, including, Constable of the Year, and multiple “Top Gun” awards for his accuracy with a firearm. He has also been the past president of the Mississippi Constables Association.
Gann said his career as Constable has been fulfilling, but he believes it’s time to retire.
“I feel serving 40 years in the same office, and age-wise, not getting any younger. It’s a good time to slow down and enjoy other things in life,” said Gann.
Gann and his wife Debbie plan to spend even more time with their grandkids, and more time collecting. Gann has extensive collections of Elvis memorabilia, sports collectibles, and a vast collection of old soda bottles.
He said the support from his family and the entire county has kept him going all these years.
“Let the people of Lee County know it’s been such a great honor to serve. I couldn’t have asked for a better honor than the last 40 years. I’d like to say, ‘thank you’,” said Gann.
Gann said he made his announcement when he did to give potential candidates plenty of time to get their campaigns organized. Gann also said he doesn’t plan on endorsing anyone. But whoever is the next District Three Constable, will have big shoes to fill.
Candidates for District Three will file paperwork next month. Gann also said he will be a contract bailiff for the justice court.