Thursday, April 28, 2016
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A state representative is leaving the Legislature to lead the Mississippi chapter of the AARP.
Rep. Kimberly Campbell, D-Jackson, said Thursday she will be leaving the state House at the end of May to become state director of the group once known as the American Association of Retired Persons.
Campbell, a 44-year-old lawyer, has been a member of the Legislature since 2008. Her district includes parts of Hinds and Madison counties, including parts of Ridgeland, northern Jackson and Pocahontas. She is vice chairwoman of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee.
During her time in the Legislature, Campbell pushed legislation that toughened punishment against human trafficking and domestic violence, expanded adoption agencies and provided legal representation for families in youth court. She also supported increasing funding for education, expanding Medicaid, and funding mental health agencies.
Campbell said she had been planning to leave the Legislature to pursue other advocacy work, but that the tone of this year's session played a part in her decision.
"Unfortunately, at the moment there's so much partisan conflict that it's difficult for those of us who live in the middle to do the work we need to do," the Democrat said. "My type of voice is getting drowned out."
Campbell said her new position would give her a better avenue to advocate for a larger, diverse group of people of anyone more than 54 years old.
Gov. Phil Bryant will set a special election for Campbell's seat after she submits her official resignation.
At least one other House seat will become vacant this summer. Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, plans to resign his House seat June 30 to become commissioner of the state Revenue Department. He will lead the tax collection agency for a six-year term beginning July 1, succeeding Ed Morgan, a former state senator and Hattiesburg mayor.
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