Greg Snowden has served as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House of Representatives since 2012; the second highest-ranking officer of that body. Greg began his fifth consecutive term as a member of the Mississippi Legislature on January 5, 2016, having been re-elected on November 3, 2015 over a Democratic challenger with more than 80% of the votes cast. A Republican first elected to the Legislature over a two-term Democratic incumbent in 1999, and re-elected in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, Greg serves District 83, which since the 2012 redistricting is now situated entirely within northern Lauderdale County. Snowden’s duties as Speaker Pro Tempore include chairing the House Management Committee, which oversees all business, personnel and financial operations of the body. In addition, Snowden serves on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, a joint committee of Representatives and Senators which prepares the state budget, and on the powerful House Rules Committee, which schedules and controls the flow of legislation. Greg also serves as Chairman of the Mississippi House Republican Caucus, and is the past chair of the Mississippi Republican Elected Officials Association. Recognized nationally for his leadership, Greg serves on the Executive Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) and on the Leadership Council of the Council of State Governments (CSG). Snowden formerly served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). In early 2016, Governor Phil Bryant appointed Snowden as Mississippi’s sole Commissioner of the Balanced Budget Commission, an official Article V effort of the several States to achieve a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Representative Snowden also serves on the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration Commission. In 2016, SuperTalk Mississippi and Y'all Politics named Speaker Snowden as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Mississippians in the areas of elective/appointed government service, lobbying and government relations and business, media and culture. Greg is the third Snowden to serve Lauderdale County in the Mississippi Legislature — Greg’s great-great grandfather, William Burnice Snowden, was a member of the House of Representatives in the 1870’s, and Greg’s great-uncle, Thomas Franklin “Tom” Snowden served three (3) terms in the House in the 1940’s and ’50’s.
Greg’s ancestors were some of the original settlers of Lauderdale County. Greg’s paternal great-great-great grandfather, James Snowden, a native of South Carolina, relocated with his wife, Mary Margaret Thames, to Lauderdale County in 1834-35, mere months after the county’s founding. James and Mary Margaret, who previously had resided for more than a decade in Wilcox County and Monroe County in Alabama during the legendary “Flush Times” eventually would rear a family of 15 children in the Center Hill community of Lauderdale County. Two of their sons, Enoch Ransom Snowden and Joseph J. Snowden, both served as privates in Company G of the 9th Mississippi infantry regiment, Chalmers Brigade, Army of Tennessee, C.S.A. Captured at the Battle of Murfreesboro (where Enoch was wounded), both brothers were transported to the Federal prison at Camp Douglas, Illinois, where Enoch died of his wounds in February, 1863. Joseph’s fate is uncertain, but he did not return home from the War.
East Mississippi, along with much of the deep South, was devastated by General Sherman’s Federal army during the War Between the States. In the years following the War, Greg’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Lewis Henry Covington, also a South Carolina native, moved his own large family from Cherokee County, Alabama to the Bailey community in Lauderdale County, where the Covingtons have flourished ever since.
Greg’s parents, Elton Monroe Snowden and Almeta Covington, both graduates of Center Hill High School, married May 7, 1935 at Shucktown, and honeymooned in Meridian, where Elton first drove a taxi, and in 1937 acquired and thereafter continuously operated a Shell service station at the corner of 6th Street and 19th Avenue for 49 years until his retirement in 1986. Greg’s father passed away on June 6, 2002, and his mother passed away on December 21, 2004.
Greg grew up in the East End of Meridian, in a home located at 1412 17th Avenue. A product of the Meridian Public Schools, Greg attended Witherspoon Elementary School, Kate Griffin Junior High School, and is a 1972 graduate of Meridian High School, where he played trumpet in the Meridian Wildcat Band.
Greg graduated in 1976 from The University of Alabama with a B.A., magna cum laude, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. As a member of “The Million Dollar Band,” Greg performed in two Sugar Bowls, an Orange Bowl, and a Cotton Bowl, during his four years at the Capstone. Greg went on to Vanderbilt Law School, where he earned a J.D. in 1979, serving on the editorial staff of The Vanderbilt Law Review.
After two years of legal practice in Florida, Greg returned home to Meridian in 1981, where he has been a practicing attorney ever since. Greg was a delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention, and an alternate delegate to the 2008 and 2012 Republican National Conventions.
Greg and Renee Snowden have two children, Emily Snowden Dabbs, of Hamilton, Texas, and Katie Snowden Crawford, of Birmingham, Alabama. The Snowdens are the proud grandparents of seven: Evangeline Dabbs, Trey Dabbs, Jane Darby Crawford, Annabelle Margaret Dabbs, Rose Crawford, Emma Faith Dabbs, and Sally Monroe Crawford.
Some recent noteworthy accomplishments of Greg's career in the Legislature include:
In 2013, Greg was the principal author of HB 1231, establishing a Criminal Justice and Corrections Task Force, the findings of which ultimately led in 2014 to the passage of H.B. 585, hailed by Chief Justice Bill Waller as “the greatest reform in the criminal justice system in this and the past century.”
In 2015, Snowden was the House floor handler for SB 2389, the Compact for a Balanced Budget, by which Mississippi joined with other States toward enactment of an Article V amendment to the United States Constitution. If ultimately successful, it will be the first time in our nation’s history that Article V will have been used by the States to amend the Constitution.
Greg was the principal author in 2015 of HCR 9, which successfully enacted the legislative alternative to the proposed Initiative 42. Throughout that election year, even as he himself ran for re-election, Greg helped lead the statewide effort to educate voters and to successfully persuade them to reject Initiative 42’s reckless threat to our State’s fiscal integrity.