William J. McCoy (Mississippi politician)

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William McCoy
Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives
In office
January 6, 2004 – January 3, 2012
Preceded by Tim Ford
Succeeded by Philip Gunn
Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives
from the 3rd district
In office
January 1980 – January 2012
Preceded by ???
Succeeded by Tracy Arnold
Personal details
Born (1942-08-14) August 14, 1942 (age 75)
Booneville, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Northeast Mississippi Community College
Mississippi State University

William J. "Billy" McCoy (born August 14, 1942), is an American farmer and Democratic politician from Rienzi, Mississippi. He was the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the State of Mississippi.


McCoy was born August 14, 1942 in Booneville, attended Northeast Mississippi Junior College, and graduated from Mississippi State University. He has worked as a vocational agriculture teacher and as a loan officer for the Farmers Home Administration, as well as a school auditor for the Mississippi State Department of Audit. He continues as a farmer.[1]

House of Representatives[edit]

McCoy became a member of the House in 1980, and was elected Speaker in 2004. In 2008, he faced (and beat) a challenge by conservative fellow Democrat, now Republican Jeff Smith of Columbus, who was supported by the Republicans in the House and by Republican governor Haley Barbour.[2]

On May 25, 2011, McCoy announced that he would not seek re-election to the State House.[3]

Private life[edit]

McCoy is married to the former Edith Leatherwood. He is a Baptist, Freemason, and a member of the Farm Bureau.[1] He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Northeast Mississippi Community College.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Representative William J. 'Billy' McCoy (MS)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "McCoy wins 2nd term as Miss. House speaker over GOP vote". The Natchez Democrat. Associated Press. January 9, 2008. Retrieved December 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Speaker McCoy won't seek re-election" Clarion-Ledger May 25, 2011
  4. ^ "Mississippi House of Representatives William J. McCoy". Mississippi House of Representatives. Retrieved December 18, 2010.