JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — State Representative Tyrone Ellis is retiring after 38 years of service in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
The Democrat represents Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties in District 38. He made the announcement Friday.
In 1979, Ellis was one of the first African-Americans elected to the Mississippi Legislature after reconstruction. He is one of the longest serving African-Americans in the legislature.
“I have truly considered myself blessed and privileged to have served the citizens of District 38, as well as the citizens of Mississippi as a whole over the years,” said Ellis. “However, the time has come to close this chapter of my life and allow God to utilize me in another capacity.”
Ellis has served on several different committees during his tenure.
“Representative Ellis is a wonderful friend and an outstanding leader,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “His hard work in the House will be missed, and I wish him well in his retirement.”
Ellis, a preacher at Running Water Baptist Church in Noxubee County, said he would continue his work as a pastor.
Governor Phil Bryant will have to determine when a special election for his seat will be held at a later date.