Gunn appoints Democrat to chair well-known House committee

Speaker Philip Gunn has appointed Representative Angela Cockerham (D- Magnolia) as the new House Judiciary B Chairman. Cockerham has served in the Legislature since 2005 and has been known to work across party lines.  She previously chaired the House Energy Committee.

“Chairman Cockerham is an intelligent attorney and a hard worker,” said Speaker Gunn. “She is an asset to Mississippi. She is a talented member who will excel in this role. Furthermore, I am honored to call Chairman Cockerham a close friend and colleague.”

Cockerham is the Vice-Chairman of the House Management Committee and serves on the House Apportionment and Elections, Appropriations, Compilation, Revision, and Publication, Education, Energy, Ethics, Legislative Budget Committee, and Performance-Based Budgeting Committees.  Representative Cockerham is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the Mississippi and Louisiana Bar Associations. She is Special Counsel at Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A.

“I would like to thank Speaker Gunn for his continuous confidence in my abilities as a legislator and more importantly for his friendship,” said Chairman Cockerham. “I look forward to working with the members of the Judiciary B Committee and the members of the House in passing legislation that will address human trafficking and child exploitation, criminal justice reform, and other issues for the betterment of our state and nation.”

Chairman Cockerham replaces Andy Gipson as Chairman of Judiciary B after he was appointed by Governor Bryant to serve as Commissioner of Agriculture. To take over Cockerham’s position as the House Energy Chairman, Gunn appointed Representative Gary Staples (R-Laurel) to chair the committee.

“Gary is a seasoned veteran of the legislative process,” said Speaker Gunn. “He has a vast understanding of the energy sector. He will be a great chairman of this committee.”

Staples has a combined 19 years of experience in the Legislature and he served as the vice-chairman of the House Energy Committee before being named the Chairman. He serves on the House Agriculture, Appropriations, Banking and Financial Services, and Public Utilities Committees.

“Many thanks to the Speaker for the confidence shown in me to handle this important sector of the oil industry,” said Chairman Staples. “I will do the best job I can do.”