Mississippi Lawmaker Announces Dementia; Retirement

JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — A long-serving Mississippi lawmaker says he has dementia and will retire after this legislative term. Rep. Steve Holland, a Plantersville Democrat, says he was only diagnosed last week. While he does well on some days, he says, there are other days where his short-term memory suffers. Holland says he knows it will get worse, but says he will try to serve through 2019. He says he chose to go public with his diagnosis to raise awareness of dementia. Holland, an undertaker, has been a lawmaker more than 30 years. He’s known for dramatic speeches and humor but was also a key policymaker when Democrats held the majority. After his announcement, House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Clinton Republican, led a prayer for his colleague. Holland’s colleagues responded with a standing ovation.


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