Gov. Tate Reeves answers questions from the media after signing qualifying paperwork to run for reelection at the Mississippi Republican Headquarters in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. Credit: Eric Shelton/Mississippi Today

The Senate Education Committee has rejected Gov. Tate Reeves’ nomination of DeSoto County resident Carra Powell to the Mississippi Board of Education.

Late Sunday, the Education Committee tabled the nomination. The Education Committee is expected to meet again before the session ends — presumably later this week — to take up the nomination of Robert Taylor for state superintendent of education.

At that meeting, an effort could be made to revive Powell’s nomination. On Sunday, Sen. Sollie Norwood, D-Jackson, made the motion to table the nomination. It was overwhelmingly approved on a voice vote. No one asked Senate Education Chair Dennis DeBar, R-Leakesville, for a roll call after the voice vote.

It is not unusual for such action to occur on a voice vote. But members have the option to ask for a show of hands or even a roll call if they believe the ruling of the chair is inaccurate.

No one asked for additional clarification of the vote.

Powell’s nomination was considered controversial. A resident of DeSoto County, near the Tennessee line, she is a registered lobbyist for a charter school association in Tennessee.

Before the vote, Reeves posted on social media, of Powell, “She is a strong conservative, active in her kids’ public schools, and a tremendous advocate for education freedom. Many left wing groups trying to stop her. Can’t imagine why! Do not let them win!”

Reeves had not yet posted on social media anything about the Education Committee’s decision. The Education Committee consists of 10 Republicans and five Democrats.

In Reeves’ first legislative session as governor, his nomination of former state Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, to the state Board of Education also was rejected. She, like Powell, was opposed by many public education groups who voiced concern with her pro educational choice advocacy positions.

The nine-member Board of Education consists of four appointees of the governor and two each from the lieutenant governor and speaker of the House.

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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.