Thursday, on the steps of Biloxi’s City Hall, three term State Representative Patterson announced he is switching sides. Patterson says, “I’ve always had conservative values. I feel that I align more with the Republican Party than the Democratic Party.”
At a fundraising event across town, Republican Representative Scott Delano welcomed House Speaker Philip Gunn to the Coast. Delano says, “I’m happy to have him down here spending some time here on the Coast understanding our issues.”
The Coast has 16 seats in the State House of Representatives. As of Thursday, 13 of them are held by Republicans. With Patterson’s switch, Republicans now hold a majority of 66 to 56.
Since the 2011 elections, Patterson is the third member to switch to the Republican Party, but it wasn’t always this way. It was just three years ago when Republicans unseated the Democrats from their long held majority in the House. Gunn says, “I think the majority of the state is conservative and I think a big part of it is that the Democrat movement is no longer the home of the conservative movement.”
Gunn tells News 25 now that Representative Patterson is a Republican, the members of his district in D’Iberville and east Biloxi now have a real voice in the direction of Mississippi’s political future. Gunn closes, “Republicans are shaping and guiding the future of Mississippi, we’re guiding Mississippi in the right direction.”
Both Patterson and Delano are up for reelection next year.