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Moak setting sights on Speaker post

With House Speaker Billy McCoy’s decision to not seekre-election Wednesday, it will leave the position wide open – aposition District 53 Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, will seek inthe months ahead should he be re-elected to the House in 2012.

“It hasn’t been a very well kept secret for the past couple ofyears that I have been raising money and trying to get ready shouldsomething like this occur,” Moak said Thursday. “I don’t think mesaying that I am running is a great surprise.”

Moak said he was waiting until McCoy formally stepped downbefore making his plans known, as to not disrespect McCoy or theHouse.

“Now that Billy has decided not to run, that sort of allows meto publicly say that I am going to seek that office,” he said.

Moak, who has served in the Legislature since 1984, said he isuncertain of who all might also formally seek the House’s top spot.However, he added that District 39 Rep. Jeffrey Smith and District24 Rep. Sidney Bondurant, a Republican representing Calhoun,Grenada and Yalobusha counties, have indicted that they will alsobe running to become the next Speaker of the House.

“The Republican coalition has said they would wait untilelections are over, but (Bondurant) said he would step out andrun,” said Moak.

Moak also sits on several committees including Gaming, of whichhe is chairman; Banking and Financial Services; Insurance; PubicHealth and Human Services and several other committees.

Before running for Speaker of the House, Moak will have to makeit through the legislative elections this summer. However, he iscurrently running unopposed and the deadline to qualify is June1.

“Just take it one step at a time,” said Moak.

Moak said McCoy not seeking re-election might not have come outof the blue.

“Certainly, I think it was something he had in the back of hismind,” said Moak. “I don’t think it was a huge surprise to folksthat he made that decision.”

McCoy has been in the House for more than three decades and hasserved as speaker for the past eight years.

“I think he is really going to enjoy being with (his family) andwatching them grow up,” said Moak. “He told me he has a new truckordered, has a dog and is ready to enjoy things in Rienzi.”