Rep. Gregg Harper served district well

Published 12:40 am Tuesday, January 9, 2018

For five terms the people of Mississippi’s Third U.S. Congressional District selected a man they believed would represent their interests in Washington, D.C.

And outgoing Rep. Gregg Harper did just that and then some.

Harper served without much flash and as far as we recall, represented Mississippi professionally and dutifully.

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Harper’s decision last week to not run for reelection surprised many last week, including us.

We applaud Harper, however, for putting his family first and making a decision that 10 years representing the people of Mississippi was long enough and that he intended to stay closer to his family.

We’ve long thought term limits for citizen legislators made sense on the state and federal level, which avoids having politicians becoming a career-minded. Harper said he never intended to become a career politician, and we hope the next U.S. congressman or congresswoman to represent us will share these values.

The Third District is one of the more bizarrely diverse in the state, traversing from our home in Southwest Mississippi in a diagonal line up to Jackson and across to the state line with Alabama, pulling in Meridian and Starkville, among other places.

Within hours of Harper’s decision speculation flew about possible candidates. We’ll leave the speculating up to the political pundits, but we hope that the candidates who ultimately run for the office share Harper’s professionalism and have a deep concern for Southwest Mississippi and finding ways to help us all make this corner of the state even better.