Elected Officials

Elected Officials

Found out more at legislature.ms.gov. Everyone in the state of Mississippi has the same two United States Senators. You can click on any of their portraits in order to visit their official sites and to initiate contact with your legislator. If you would like information on the City of Natchez please visit their website www.natchez.ms.us.

Thad Cochran

was born December 7, 1937, in Pontotoc, Mississippi. He is the son of William Holmes Cochran and Emma Grace Cochran, who were educators in Pontotoc, Tippah, and Hinds counties.

Cochran was strongly influenced by his parents’ careers in education. He and his brother, Nielson, were immersed in academic environments even at young ages. They spent summers at the University of Mississippi as their parents earned Master’s Degrees, and also lived at Blue Mountain College where their parents were members of the faculty.

In 1946, the Cochran family moved to the Byram, a community of Hinds County near Jackson. There was much time devoted to sports, music, the Boy Scouts, and church activities. Thad became an Eagle Scout and helped establish a new scout troop at Spring Ridge Methodist Church. He served as its first Junior Assistant Scout Master.

At Byram High School, Cochran earned varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, and tennis. He gave a piano and voice recital his senior year, and was class valedictorian. He was also a member of the 4-H Club and Daniel Memorial Baptist Church.

As a high school junior and senior, Cochran worked in a variety of after school and weekend jobs. His first regular job was at Gunn’s Dairy Bar where he was a “car hop.” He clerked at Nicholson’s Grocery store, cleared right-of-way for Deviney Construction Company, and helped his father and brother on the family’s cattle farm near Utica.

Roger F. Wicker

has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007. During his time in the Senate, Wicker has championed pro-growth policies to create jobs and has worked to reduce spending, limit federal overreach, and maintain a strong national defense.

He is a member of the Senate Republican leadership team, and served as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 114th Congress. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower.

Wicker is also a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, serving as chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet; Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Rules Committee. He is Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and Chair of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security in the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly. Wicker is also a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Congressional Board of Visitors.

Senator Wicker has been a strong advocate for economic development initiatives to help keep Mississippians competitive in a global marketplace. He has been honored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for his work on pro-growth, pro-manufacturing policies in Congress.

Senator Wicker has actively supported cancer survivorship programs and efforts to fight heart disease with the American Heart Association, diabetes, childhood obesity, and Alzheimer's. He has been recognized as a "champion" of polio eradication for his work to wipe out polio worldwide. Senator Wicker is the co-founder of the Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus and has worked to eliminate these preventable diseases.

He has been instrumental in bringing more research funding to Mississippi universities for a wide range of health-related projects to fight disease and improve quality of life. Most notably, Wicker authored the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education (MD CARE) Act of 2001, which created NIH centers of excellence to coordinate and enhance muscular dystrophy research. The Wicker Project at Children's National Medical Center is a leader in muscular dystrophy research.

Prior to his service in the Senate, Wicker was elected seven times, beginning in 1994, to represent Mississippi’s First Congressional District in the House of Representatives. Before being elected to Congress, he served in the state Senate on behalf of Lee and Pontotoc counties.

Senator Wicker served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and then joined the Air Force Reserve. He retired from the Reserve in 2004 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

A native of Pontotoc, Mississippi, the Senator is the son of former Circuit Judge Fred Wicker and the late Mrs. Wordna Wicker. He was educated in the public schools of Pontotoc and received his B.A. and law degrees from the University of Mississippi. Wicker is a member of the First Baptist Church Tupelo, where he served as chairman of the deacons, taught Sunday School, and where he still sings in the choir.

Senator Wicker is married to the former Gayle Long of Tupelo. They have three children: Margaret and son-in-law Manning McPhillips; Caroline and son-in-law Kirk Sims; and McDaniel Wicker and his wife Kellee; and five grandchildren: Caroline, Henry, Maury Beth, Margaret Virginia McPhillips, and Evelyn Sims.

Gregg Harper

is currently serving his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives after having been first elected to Congress in November of 2008.

Mississippi’s Third Congressional District stretches from Wilkinson County in southwest Mississippi to Oktibbeha County and includes the northeast corner of Jackson and the I-20 corridor into east central Mississippi.


Gregg has lived in the Third Congressional District since 1972 and currently resides in Pearl, Mississippi with his wife of thirty-seven years, Sidney. They have a son, Livingston, and a daughter and son in law, Maggie and Brett. The Harpers are active members of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon where he served for many years as a Sunday school teacher for high school and college students.

The son of a former petroleum engineer and a mom who worked two days a week until she was 88 years old, Gregg learned at a young age the value of hard work and the importance of a quality education. Gregg and Sidney are both graduates of Mississippi College where he majored in Chemistry. He then earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Gregg practiced law for twenty-seven years, including serving as the prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland, Mississippi. He also served on the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board and remains active in his community as a member of both the Pearl and Rankin County Chambers of Commerce. Additionally, Gregg was honored to serve as the board attorney for the Mississippi Baptist Children’s Village until his election to Congress in 2008.

Bob M. Dearing

is a member Natchez Festival of Music, Board Member; Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, Board Member; Mississippi-Louisiana Charter National Football Foundation and Coaches Hall of Fame; Ducks Unlimited & NRA.

Senator Dearing was born on January 26. He is married to the former Shelley Paige Ditzler. He is of the Presbyterian faith.

Legislative Experience: 2016-present Previous 1980-2012


  • Delta State University, BSE 1957
  • University of Southern Mississippi, ME 1965
  • Delta State University, Honorary Doctorate in Public Service 2012

Occupation: AFLAC Insurance Agent

Committee Membership:

  • Public Property - Vice-Chair
  • Appropriations
  • Constitution
  • Energy
  • Highways and Transportation
  • Insurance
  • Ports and Marine Resources
  • Public Health and Welfare

Contact Information:

Room: 405-C
P. O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215

Trent Kelly

lives in Saltillo with his wife of 26 years, Sheila, and their three children John Forrest, Morgan, and Jackson. They are members of Saltillo First United Methodist Church.

Trent was born on March 1, 1966, in Union, Mississippi to parents John and Barbara Kelly. He graduated from Union High School and East Central Community College. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. In 2010, he received his master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Trent has spent 31 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard as an Engineer and is currently serving as a Colonel. In 1990, he mobilized for Desert Storm as an Engineer Second Lieutenant. In 2005, he deployed as a Major to Iraq with the 155th Brigade as the Operations Officer of the 150th Engineer Battalion. From 2009 to 2010, he deployed as a Lieutenant Colonel to Iraq as the Battalion Commander of Task Force Knight of the 155th Brigade Combat Team and commanded over 670 troops from Mississippi, Ohio, and Kentucky. He has received two Bronze Stars, the Combat Action Badge, the DeFleury Medal, and numerous other federal and state awards for his service.

Trent has worked at McRae’s Department Store as a manager, maintained a private law practice in Saltillo, and served as Tupelo City Prosecutor and Forfeiture Attorney for North Mississippi Narcotics Unit. Prior to being elected to Congress, Trent served as a District Attorney for the 1st Circuit Judicial District (Lee, Pontotoc, Alcorn, Monroe, Itawamba, Prentiss, and Tishomingo) managing all felony cases.

Benny Thompson

has spent his entire life giving a voice to the voiceless. The Congressman’s lifelong public service record is a testament to his unwavering dedication to fulfil and exceed the expectations of the constituents of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi. A native of rural Bolton, Mississippi, Thompson has always been aware of the realities that plague the South. Viewing the experiences his family endured first hand became the catalyst for his passion for those who were oftentimes underserved.

Congressman Thompson is a product of the Hinds County School District. After graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Science from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science from Jackson State University. While pursuing his education, Thompson began to cultivate his passion for grassroots political activism. A product of the Civil Rights movement, Thompson joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and helped to organize voter registration drives for African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta. After graduating from college, Thompson followed in the footsteps of his mother and worked as a schoolteacher. It was during this time that he began to aggressively pursue a career in politics.

Thompson served as alderman from 1968 to 1972, and went on to serve as mayor from 1973 to 1980, both in his hometown of Bolton. As mayor and founding member and President of the Mississippi Association of Black Mayors, he initiated policies and provided services that benefited the underserved citizens of his hometown. In his capacity as mayor, Thompson made improved the water and sewer systems, paved streets, renovated dilapidated houses, spearheaded the construction of city hall, and re-evaluated the town’s real estate to reflect accurate values.

From 1980 to 1993, Thompson served as a Hinds County Supervisor and was the founding member and President of the state’s Association of Black Supervisors. Thompson’s reputation for being a pragmatic local public servant afforded him an opportunity to be the vocal champion for his constituents. Thompson’s years of dedication and service to those constituents lead them to elect him to Congress in 1993 to represent the Second District of Mississippi.

Congressman Thompson has served the Second Congressional District since 1993. He is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He is also the only Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional Delegation. Thompson’s stellar voting record is indicative of his determination to be an activist for reform. In 2000, Thompson authored legislation creating the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities, which subsequently became law. Thompson also received a Presidential appointment to serve on the National Council on Health Planning and Development.

In August 2005, the state of Mississippi was severely damaged by the natural disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Congressman Thompson aggressively advocated for disaster relief improvements within government agencies, and provided oversight to ensure that federal funds were properly allocated for Gulf Coast recovery.

In 2006, during the 109th Congress, Thompson’s Washington colleagues expressed their overwhelming confidence in his abilities, and selected him to serve as the first Democratic Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. As Chairman, Congressman Thompson introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since September 11, 2001 - H.R. 1, the

“9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007.”

Congressman Thompson has served on the Agriculture, Budget and Small Business Committees. Each day, Congressman Thompson works to level the playing field. Thompson employs a progressive, yet realistic, approach to overcome the disparities and be the unabashed champion for civil rights, equal education, and healthcare reform for Mississippi.

Congressman Thompson is a lifelong member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton, Mississippi. He married his college sweetheart, London Johnson of Mound Bayou, Mississippi in 1968, they remain happily married to this day. The couple has one daughter BendaLonne, one granddaughter, Jeanna, and one grandson, Thomas Gordon. Congressman Thompson is an avid outdoorsman. He also enjoys gardening, reading, and listening to blues music.

Steven M. Palazzo

is proud to serve the people of South Mississippi's4th Congressional District,which includesMississippi's Gulf Coast and Pine Belt regions.As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, current member of the Mississippi National Guard,and former member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, Congressman Palazzo has a record of service that began long before he was first sworn into office on January 5, 2011.

Steven currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee, where he sits on three subcommittees: the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee, the Subcommittee on Agriculture, and the Homeland Security Subcommittee. His committee is responsible for allocating every dollar of federal discretionary spending.

Since his first term, Steven has served on the Majority Whip team. He also spent five years as the Chairman of the Space Subcommittee, overseeing the country’s space program and ensuring America’s continued access to space. Before being selected for the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Palazzo also sat on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees. His military experience also provided the opportunity for Steven to lead the House National Guard Caucus, where he remains chairman. In 2016, he also took the helm of the House Aerospace Caucus.

In these roles, he has been a consistent advocate for a strong national defense, a leader on veterans’ issues, and a champion for bringing fiscal common-sense back to Washington by supporting balanced budgets and pro-growth policies. Congressman Palazzo believes in smart federal investment while cutting the true drivers of our national debt: mandatory spending.

Steven’s prior life includes experience working on oil rigs, serving on active duty overseas, and starting and owning his own small business. He also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010. A Gulf Coast native, Steven is the proud father of three children: Barrett, Aubrey and Bennett.

For information on Adams County Elected Officials visit adamscountyms.net. All above content was obtained from the respective legislators' website biographical page.

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