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Barbour: MDA chief leaving for Fla.

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Gray Swoope is leaving his job for a similar position in Florida.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says in a news release on Monday that Swoope and MDA had led the way in creating thousands of high-paying jobs. Barbour says Swoope will now be the head of economic development in Florida.

Swoope became director of MDA in January 2007, moving up after the retirement of wealthy businessman Leland Speed. Swoope had been second in command at the agency since 2004, Barbour became governor.

MDA is the state’s economic development arm. It wasn’t immediately clear how soon Swoope would resign or when Barbour would appoint another MDA chief.

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