Mississippi Republican Mac Huddleston dies

August 30, 2023

Mississippi state representative Mac Huddleston, a Republican, has died. 

The longtime representative of rural Pontotoc County died of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, at the age of 79, Mississippi Today reported.

Huddleston served in Vietnam and worked as a veterinarian before entering politics relatively late in life, first winning election to the state House in 2007.

Mississippi Republican dies

The Mississippi Speaker of the House called Huddleston a "man of great integrity and character."

“I had the highest respect for him, and that is why, out of 122 members, I made him the chairman of the Ethics Committee,” House Speaker Philip Gunn said in a statement.

Huddleston was raised in Holmes County, Mississippi, by his grandparents. After college, he served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, holding the rank of Captain. He received the Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Back home, Huddleston studied medicine at Auburn University and became a veterinarian. He later worked as a criminal investigator for the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department before entering politics, winning election to District 15 in 2007.

Huddleston served as Chairman of the University and Colleges and Ethics committees and previously served as vice-chairman of the Appropriations committee. His Republican colleagues called him a mentor.

“When I got to Jackson, I was a green as a gourd,” Republican Rep. Jon Lancaster of Houston told Mississippi Today. “He took me under his wing, and he taught me how to network and how to get things done for my district.”

Historic vote

Earlier this year, Huddleston told the Daily Journal that he was proud to be part of the bi-partisan vote to adopt a new state flag following the death of George Floyd in 2020.

“I just thought it was time for change,” Huddleston said. “I had been working in the Capitol for three terms and working with people everyday. I listened to people talk, and I just realized people had some issues with the flag. It was a bipartisan bill, really.”

He died in office, months before he had planned to retire in January.

“I’ve had a good time,” Huddleston said earlier this year. “I’ve had some health issues, but I’ve had some good friends to help me work through this. I’m feeling pretty good.”

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Dr. Flavia Ruth Hutchinson Huddleston, four children, and four grandchildren.

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