State Sen. Flowers of Southaven resigning - - Jackson, MS

State Sen. Flowers of Southaven resigning

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Republican Merle Flowers of Southaven says he's resigning from the Mississippi Senate to spend more time with his wife and their four children.

The 43-year-old Flowers said Thursday that he will step down as of July 11. His District 19 is entirely inside DeSoto County.

Flowers has been in the Senate since January 2004. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will have to set a nonpartisan special election to fill the Senate seat.

Flowers is chairman of the committee that drew a Senate redistricting plan that was adopted in April to reflect population changes revealed by the 2010 Census.

The map for the 52-member Senate awaits scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department. Because of Mississippi's history of racial discrimination, any election changes must be approved by the federal government.

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