State Rep. Daryl Porter Jr. announced his resignation from the Summit Town Council on Tuesday, setting up a likely March special election to fill the seat on the four-member governing body.
Porter said he’ll be stepping down from the council effective Feb. 14. Town officials would have to hold a special election in 30 days.
Porter, who got his political start on the town council at age 23 when he was fresh out of Ole Miss, went on to receive a law degree from Mississippi College.
He won the Democratic primary in August to replace former Rep. David Myers in House District 98 after Myers didn’t seek re-election, Porter was sworn in as a House member last week.
“I am blessed and honored to have served the citizens of Summit for the last five years, and I do not take for granted that you all saw fit to entrust a 23-year-old to make decisions that impact your day-to-day lives,” Porter said in a statement. “I am forever grateful. While I am incredibly excited about the future of Summit, MS, I believe that now is the time for another progressive leader to aid in moving our community forward.”
Porter said he was proud of the town’s accomplishments during his time on the board, including the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, the expansion of businesses such as Summit Plastics and the council’s efforts in “balancing the preservation of the community and economic stability in the town.”
“As your State Representative, my work is not yet done,” he said. “I will still be working for you and with you to move District 98 in a new direction.”
Residents had been asking Porter about his intentions for the town council job since he won election.
Porter previously said he’d like to keep both elected positions and had sought an attorney general’s opinion to determine whether it was legal for him to do so.
On Wednesday, Porter said he had reconsidered, adding that his new involvement in the Legislature, along with his budding legal practice would be too much to handle in addition to serving as a councilman.
Porter was absent from Tuesday’s town council meeting, but news of his resignation spread fast. Around the time Porter released his statement to the Enterprise-Journal via text message during the meeting one person who said he’s interested in the seat — A.J. Quinn, who ran unsuccessfully for Pike County Central District Justice Court Judge — arrived after the meeting had already begun.
In other business, the council:
• Accepted resignations from part-time police officers Benton Roland and Edwin Thompson.
• Transferred $65,822 in water and sewer funds to the Community Development Block Grant project fund to cover the final payment for a grant-funded overhaul of sewer lines.
• Scheduled a public nuisance property hearing for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 for a house at 1205 Meadville St. and a business at 1109 Highway 51.
• Appointed Dungan Engineering and The Ferguson Group as the engineering firm and grant administrator for Community Development Block Grant projects if awarded during the next round of funding.
• Offered condolences to town superintendent Tim Baylor, whose wife Tonya recently died, and to Councilwoman Pauline Monley, whose aunt Odell Houston recently died.
• Heard a request from Mayor Percy Robinson, who asked people to remove inoperable vehicles from their yards.
“All of these people who have got these junk cars around their houses sitting up, they need to get rid of them,” he said.