Twenty-one years ago, former Clay County Supervisor David Gibbs was elected by citizens of Clay, Lowndes and Monroe Counties to be the District 36 Representative in the state house legislature.
On Sunday, officials at the Northeast Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo confirmed that Gibbs had passed away.
He was 76.
"On behalf of all Mississippi Democrats, we lament the passing of our friend, colleague and public servant Representative David Gibbs,” said Rickey Cole, Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party in a statement issued on Sunday afternoon. “Not only was "Rep. Gibbs an important part of our legislature, he was also a revered senior member of our state Democratic executive committee. Throughout his decades of service to our party, Rep. Gibbs was steadfast. His was consistently a voice of quiet, strong and reliable common sense. He believed that only by working together could we make life better for everyone. The Mississippi Legislature and the Democratic Party are much the poorer in the absence of our good and wise friend David Gibbs."
Gibbs made statewide news earlier in the week when House Majority Leader Phillip Gunn began the current 90-day legislative session by reading a letter of resignation that was written by Gibbs and delivered to the state house.
Hours later word was spreading that Gibbs wanted to rescind the resignation and continue to serve District 36 during this legislative session that is supposed to be top heavy with “education reform.”
By Thursday, a spokesman for the house informed the Daily Times Leader that at that time Gibbs' resignation had never been official and that he would continue to serve District 36.
Gov. Phil Bryant is now tasked with appointing a date for yet another special election involving Clay County citizens.
On Tuesday, voters in Clay and portions of Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties will decide who will fill the seat for District 16 in the state Senate, which came open upon the passing of Clay County native Bennie Turner in December.
Angela Turner Lairy and Kenny Fowler, both of Clay County will be on that ballot.
The election to fill Gibbs' seat will take place at least 40 days from the date Bryant declares the special election.
Keep reading the Daily Times Leader for updates on these elections and reactions from the community about Gibbs' passing.