JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-District 56) announced he will not seek re-election once his term has been completed.

Gunn’s experience in the Mississippi Legislature started in 2004. In January 2012, he became Mississippi’s first Republican House speaker since Reconstruction.

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as Speaker of the Mississippi House. I am extremely grateful to the people of District 56 who have given me the opportunity to serve them for the last 20 years and to the members of the House who have entrusted the role of Speaker to me for 12 years.

I believe we have moved Mississippi in a positive direction, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to another productive session in 2023.

Having said that, I have decided not to seek re-election for House District 56. My service as Speaker coming to an end does not mean I will not be open to future opportunities to serve. I love our state and will always work to make her better.

I believe there will be an opportunity for me to serve our state soon and when that time comes, I will be ready.

Rep. Philip Gunn, Mississippi House Speaker

Gunn was instrumental this year in pushing legislators to pass one of the largest tax cuts in state history. The 4% income tax bracket will be phased out over four years, starting in 2023. In the following three years, the 5% bracket will be reduced to 4%. Gunn and Republican Gov. Tate Reeves have both said they want a full elimination of the state income tax.

He also has supported restrictions on abortion, including a 2018 Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion-rights supporters challenged the law, and the U.S. Supreme Court used the case this year to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that had established abortion rights nationwide.

Gunn has served on multiple committees while in the Mississippi Legislature, including Compilation, Revision and Publication, Legislative Budget Committee, Management and Rules.

After graduating from Clinton High School, Gunn attended Baylor University and the University of Mississippi, School of Law.

Mississippi voters next year will elect a governor, lieutenant governor and six other statewide officials, plus transportation commissioners and public service commissioners from northern, central and southern districts. All 174 legislative seats also will be on the ballot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.