Rep. Chuck Middleton, D-Port Gibson

Rep. America “Chuck” Middleton, D-Port Gibson, has become the fourth member of the Mississippi House to resign this year.

Middleton, 58, announced his retirement Friday.

“I want to thank the people of District 85 for giving me the opportunity to serve them for so long,” Middleton said in a news release. “Through this position I was able to represent the best people in the state for over 20 years.”

Middleton was first elected in 1995.

“I have found Chuck Middleton to be a man of honesty, integrity and great conviction,” said House Speaker Philip Gunn. “I count him as a dear friend, and he will be sorely missed as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives.”

Earlier this year Sara Richardson Thomas, D-Indianola, and Robert Huddleston, D-Sumner, like Middleton, members of the Legislative Black Caucus, announced their retirement from the House. Also, this year Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, resigned after he was appointed commissioner of agriculture and commerce by Gov. Phil Bryant.

The governor already has announced a special election to fill Middleton’s seat, which consists of portions of Claiborne, Franklin, Jefferson and Warren counties in southwest Mississippi. The date of the special election will be Nov. 6 – the date of the regularly scheduled election. The deadline to qualify for the special election is Sept. 17.

If no candidate garners a majority vote in the special election, the top two vote-getters will advance to a Nov. 27 runoff.

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Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.