Senator Bob Dearing decides not to run for re-election

Published 12:06 am Friday, January 4, 2019


NATCHEZ — After serving 36 years in the Mississippi Legislature, Sen. Bob Dearing said he is ready to retire.

Dearing said Thursday that he will not run for re-election this year.

Email newsletter signup

“My family is ready for me to come home,” Dearing said.

First elected to office in 1979, Dearing served in the Mississippi Senate as a Democrat for eight terms until he was defeated in 2011 by Republican Melanie Sojourner. Four years later Dearing defeated Sojourner to recapture the seat he once held.

Proud of his accomplishments in the Legislature, Dearing said he has always enjoyed working in the Senate and will miss it when he finishes this year.

Last year, Dearing sponsored a dog-fighting bill that Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law.

The new legislation adds two years of jail time to first offense dogfighting convictions and introduces stiffer penalties for second and following offenses.

In his time in office, Dearing said he has seen a distinct change in state politics.

“I started serving in 1980,” Dearing said. “It wasn’t very partisan then, but it is now.”

Despite the current partisan environment, Dearing said he looks forward to his last regular session in the Legislature.

Dearing said the city and county has provided local legislators with a list of goals. On his personal list of goals is trying one last time to secure bond money for the renovation of the old Margaret Martin School.

“I am going to make the most of this last year,” Dearing said.

Dearing said he plans to also help campaign for his daughter Daye Dearing, who is running for Adams County Circuit Clerk this year.