|Preceded by William McCoy|
Preceded by Jep Barbour
Name Philip Gunn
|Political party Republican|
Party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Lisa Gunn
|Born January 27, 1963 (age 52)
Clinton, Mississippi, U.S. (1963-01-27) |
Alma mater Baylor University University of Mississippi, Oxford
Role Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives
Office Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives since 2012
Education Baylor University, University of Mississippi School of Law
Speaker of the House Philip Gunn
Philip A. Gunn (born January 27, 1963) is an American politician from the state of Mississippi. A member of the Republican Party, Gunn is the Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, and represents the 56th district. He has served in the Mississippi House since 2004, and became Speaker in 2012. Gunn is the first Republican to serve as Speaker of the Mississippi House since 1876.
Early life and education
Gunn graduated from high school in Clinton, Mississippi. He attended Baylor University, where he was a walk-on for the Baylor Bears football team. He graduated from Baylor with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1985.
Gunn worked as a waiter for a year, and then attended the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he graduated with a juris doctor. He served as president of the student government while attending law school.
Gunn was encouraged to run for election to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 2003, due to redistricting that hurt Clinton. He faced incumbent fellow Republican Jep Barbour, the nephew of Haley Barbour. Gunn lost the primary election by 17 votes, but found an error in how the districts were drawn, disenfranchising some voters. A re-vote was scheduled, and Gunn won by 155 votes. Barbour appealed the re-vote to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which ruled in Gunn's favor in April 2004.
The Republicans became the majority of the Mississippi House following the 2011 elections, and Gunn was chosen to be their candidate for Speaker by the Republican delegation; he won the position with no opposing votes when the whole House convened on January 3, 2012. Gunn became the first Republican Speaker of the Mississippi House since Isaac Shadd, who served as Speaker from 1874 through 1876.
Following the Charleston church shooting in June 2015 and subsequent discussion of the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag at the South Carolina State House, Gunn publicly called for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the Flag of Mississippi, which was added to the flag in 1894.
Gunn's sister and parents were killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver.
Gunn met his wife, Lisa (née Watkins), while he attended Baylor. The couple has four children. Gunn serves as an elder in his church.