Phil Bryant is the current Governor of Mississippi, having assumed the office on January 10, 2012 as the successor of Haley Barbour. Previously, he was Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi (2008 – 2012) and Auditor of Mississippi (1996 – 2008).
Early Life and Education
Phil Bryant was born on December 9, 1954 to a mechanic father, Dewey C, and a housewife mother, Estelle. Growing up with two other siblings, Phil went to Council McCluer High School for the final two years of early education. Until the 10th year, Bryant attended a different local school.
Graduating from McCluer, Bryant joined Hinds Community College. Later, he transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi. Eventually, Bryant went to Mississippi college for a Master’s degree.
Phil Bryant is a married man with two children: Katie and Patrick. He and his wife, Deborah, have been married for more than four decades now.
After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Bryant started working as a drug law enforcement officer. Subsequently, as he finished Master’s degree from Mississippi College, he commenced teaching political history. At some point, Bryant was also an insurance company employee.
Leaving those careers behind, Phil Bryant entered the Mississippi politics as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. While at the office, he worked in the Insurance Committee and was crucial in introducing Capital Gains Tax Cut Act. After serving five years in the office, Bryant became Mississippi State Auditor in 2003 by defeating Billy Blackburn with 76.31% votes. He assumed the office in November 1996 and left on January 10, 2008 to become Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi.
In the 2007 Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, Bryant ran against Charlie Ross. He won the race with 57.1% votes and moved on to face Jamie Franks, Jr. in Mississippi general election. Phil again saw a landslide victory with 58.57% votes in favor. Having served under Harley Barbour for four years, Phil decided to run for the post of Governor of Mississippi.
In 2011 Mississippi Governor Republican Primary Election, Bryant faced Dave Dennis, Ron Williams, Hudson Holiday and James Broadwater. Despite a large number of candidates, Phil won 59.46% votes to become the Republican nomination for Governor of Mississippi. In General Election, he saw a huge triumph against Democrat Johnny DuPree with 60.98% votes in favor. In 2015, Bryant sought for a second term and won the Republican nomination with a surprising majority of 91.84% votes. Moreover, in the general election, he defeated Democrat Robert Gray by receiving 66.38% votes.
During two terms as Governor, Bryant has been caught up in several controversies – one being related to the signing of HB-1523. As per House Bill 1523, denying services to same-sex couples is legal. This kind of discriminatory legal system sparked a huge controversy in the state of Mississippi.
Donald Trump and Phil Bryant
President Trump and Governor Bryant share a lot of resemblances in their political and economic stands. Hence, Phil has repeatedly supported Trump on his crackdown on illegal immigration. Also, he attended Trump Inauguration on January 20 along with Trump’s close British ally Nigel Farage.