Rep. Tyrone Ellis retires to focus on pastorship, business

State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville.
For Daily Times Leader

State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, announced on Friday that he will step down from his House seat in Jackson after nearly four decades.

Ellis told the SDN in a phone interview on Friday that he “hit a brick wall” in his legislative work and decided to retire after his long tenure in Jackson in order to focus on aspects of his life that he had to tend to while in office.

“It’s been a long, arduous process and after prayer and meditation, I was moved to get out of here and do something different,” Ellis said.

Ellis also serves as pastor at Running Water Baptist Church in Noxubee County and his retirement will take effect immediately.

“I will continue to serve as a servant in whatever capacity I can, because that’s what I am,” Ellis said “I’ve got my pastorship and ministry going and my family businesses with real estate and consulting company, so I have my hands full now.”

The Starkville native first took office in 1980 and has led House Democrats since 2008.

He said he will miss working with constituents, hearing their concerns and being an accessible public servant.

“Of course I’ll miss having the ability and capacity to serve the citizens that I represent,” Ellis said. “People can pick up the telephone and call me anytime, like you do with local authorities. I was very approachable, and I’m going to miss that. I enjoyed serving the people and getting things done, not just for the every day citizen, but business people as well.”

Ellis was an active member of several committees in the statehouse, including: Accountability, Efficiency,Transparency; Apportionment and Elections; Corrections; Judiciary B; Judiciary En Banc and Ways and Means.

A special election will be set by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the seat that represents parts of Clay, Lowdnes and Oktibbeha counties.

When Ellis was first elected in 1979, his district also included parts of Noxubee County. The legislative district has since been changed to exclude Noxubee, but Ellis said we will always consider himself a part of the county.

Ellis leaves office with two years left on a four-year term.

Ellis and his wife Arella have two children: Stephen Tyroin and Stephanie Renee.