By Edelia “Dr. Jay” Carthan,
City of Jackson Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither A. Stamps is now a councilman and representative.
Stamps, or rather, Representative Stamps, won a special runoff election for Mississippi House of Representative making him one of few Mississippians to hold elected offices on two different levels of government, municipal and state.
Stamps defeated challenger Robert “Bob” Lee in Tuesday’s special runoff election. Stamps received 909 votes while Lee received 570. The seat became available after Rep. Jarvis Dortch resigned.
“I first fell in love with policy in the 6th grade. For six years, from 6th grade to 12th grade, I was a part of youth legislature. We went to the capitol every year and reenacted the state government. To go from youth legislature to being a state legislator is a childhood dream,” Stamps said in a live Facebook post.
Some states, Mississippi is one of them, allows legislators to hold multiple state or local offices if there is no risk of a conflict between the positions’ responsibilities. Mississippi State Constitution article 4, section 45 addresses this issue which states, “No senator or representative during the term for which he was elected, shall be eligible to any office of profit, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices as may be filled by an election of the people.”
Stamps will serve on the following committees: Finance, Planning, Economic Development, Legislative, Education Ad Hoc, and will serve as chair of the Government Operations and Water Ad-Hoc committees.
“God won this election for us and the citizens of District 66. Thank you to everyone who supported this movement especially my family and the campaign team. This process has definitely made me a better candidate, a better public servant and a better elected official,” Stamps said during a live Facebook video as he thanked everyone, including his opponent Bob Lee.
Stamps is an Iraqi War veteran, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, farmer, father, councilman and now a state representative.
Special runoff elections were also held for three Mississippi Senate seats.
Businessman Bart Williams defeated educator Joyce Meek Yates for the Senate District 15 seat which emcompasses Choctaw, Montgomery, Oktibbeha and Webster counties. Republican Senator Gary Jackson resigned in June due to family health concerns.
Former Lowndes County School District Superintendent Lynn Wright defeated David Chism in the House District 37 race in Clay, Lowndes and Okibbeha counties. Republican Gary Chism resigned in June which left the seat vacant.
In the Senate race for District 39, Jason Barrett defeated Bill Sones in Tuesday’s special runoff election. Senator Sally Doty resigned in July to head the public utility staff.
Three Republicans and a Democrat won special runoff elections Tuesday. At press time, it is unclear when the new members of the Mississippi Legislature will be sworn in. Currently, Republicans are the majority in the 122 member House and 52 member Senate.