By Jeff Clark
A runoff election for the District 36 House seat vacated by the death of Rep. David Gibbs, D-West Point, will be held Tuesday. Gibbs’ son Karl Gibbs will face Rev. Eddie Longstreet of West Point in the runoff. District 36 includes portions of Lowndes, Clay and Monroe counties. According to Lowndes County Circuit Clerk Haley Salazar, the only Lowndes County precinct in the district is located on a portion of the Lowndes County Airbase. Voting will be held at the North West Lowndes Fire Department on 128 Jess Lyons Road.
Karl Gibbs and Longstreet were among six candidates on the March 12 ballot for the special election called by Gov. Phil Bryant. The other candidates were Jimmy Davidson, Roderick Van Daniel, Bobbie Davis and Jeannie Staten. Longstreet received fewer than 10 votes more than Staten to make it into the runoff.
Gibbs is employed at the Columbus Air Force Base. Longstreet is the pastor at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in West Point and he was a staff member for former US Rep. Travis Childers.
According to political blogger Bryan Perry (www.capstonepublicaffairs.com), Longstreet contributed $3,000 of his own money to his campaign and as of March 7 he had spent $15,000. Perry said Karl Gibbs had not raised any campaign funds.
David Gibbs died Jan. 13 after a brief battle with cancer. He announced he was resigning from his position due to failing health a few days before his death. He served the 36th District for more than 20 years. The winner of the runoff will serve the remainder of Gibbs’ term which ends in January 2016, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.