- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - One of the longest-serving members of the Mississippi House is stepping down.

Democratic Rep. Tyrone Ellis, of Starkville, announced his retirement Friday, and it took effect immediately.

He was first elected to the 122-member House in November 1979 and took office in January 1980. He led the House Democrats for several years, starting in 2008.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will set a special election to fill the District 38 seat in parts of Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties. More than two years remain in the current four-year term.

Ellis is pastor at Running Water Baptist Church in Noxubee County. He says in a news release that serving in the Legislature has been a “blessing” but he is ready to let God use him in another capacity.

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