Ripley Lawmaker Switching Parties

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Republicans are closer to having a three-fifths majority of 74 votes in the Mississippi House because a newly re-elected Democrat is switching parties.

Rep. Jody Steverson of Ripley confirmed his decision Thursday to The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal ( ).

With one other House race unresolved, Steverson’s switch gives the GOP 73 out of 122 seats.

Steverson did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.

His announcement comes two days after he won a second term as an unopposed as a Democrat in Benton, Tippah and Union counties.

Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said Wednesday he has invited Democrats to switch parties.

Passing tax or bond bills takes a three-fifths supermajority, and having that margin makes it easier for Republicans to make such financial decisions without seeking Democrats’ support.

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