BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - On Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that he has appointed a Gulf Coast district attorney that will fill a vacancy on the court of appeals, along with a new prosecutor.
The governor appointed District Attorney Joel Smith to the Mississippi Court of Appeals. For the past nine year, Smith has served as district attorney for Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties. Smith will take the position that was previously held by Sean Tindell, who left the court to become Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
It was also announced that Crosby Parker will serve as the District Attorney for Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties. Prior to his appointment, Parker served as Chief Assistant District Attorney, where he has handled high profile violent crimes, crimes against children, and corruption cases, among others.
In addition to announcing the new appointees, the governor also welcomed Bay. St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre and Councilman Doug Seal to the republican party and also the GOP.
At a press conference on Thursday morning in Bay St. Louis, the governor praised the city for its beauty and resiliency, as well as its fiscal accountability. He attributed that to local leaders.
“In recent years, thanks to the leadership of the gentlemen standing here beside me, BSL has become a hotbed of activity,” said Reeves. “In recent years, the leadership of these gentlemen has been outstanding along with their colleagues in the city and the county.”
Mayor Mike Favre and Councilman Doug Seals have helped the city by applying conservative principles, said the governor.
“Mayor Favre has also worked with the council to improve fiscal accountability for the residents of BSL. These improvements are the result of conservative principles that prioritize tax dollars and create value for the public,” said Reeves. “Mayor Favre has applied conservative values to his duties as mayor and to his prior duties as the councilman-at-large.... The mayor has been a friend of mine for a long, long time and I’m thrilled that he’s officially joining the Republican party, to not just govern as a conservative, to not just govern like a Republican, but to run as one.”
Favre then took the podium, giving a brief speech to thank the governor and Mississippi GOP for organizing the event and supporting him. He also outlined some of his accomplishments as mayor, emphasizing that while he may now be running as a Republican, his platform stays the same.
“We’re not changing the person. We’re still running on the same values we ran on four years, eight years ago,” said Favre.
The governor then welcomed Councilman Seal, listing off some of the traits and goals they share.
“He describes himself a bit like I describe myself: methodical, detail oriented, someone who makes it his business to understand the ins and outs of the government he serves and the constituents he serves. That is and of itself a conservative mindset and one that produces results,” said Reeves.
Seal then made a brief speech, outlining some of the issues he has helped solve and the projects he has helped push through during his time in the city’s leadership. His switch to the Republican Party is one he said he made so that he could do even more for Bay. St. Louis.
For the first time in 20 years of elected service, I have always ran independent… but I realized I needed to be part of a bigger group, a bigger organization to make a bigger difference in our city,” said Seal.
This announcement comes almost a year after the governor celebrated Waveland Mayor Mike Smith’s change to the Republican Party.
The circuit court judge position that is currently vacant was left open by former Circuit Judge Roger Clark of Gulfport. Clark retired on Nov. 30, 2020, from the Second Court District of Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties.