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Ex-lawmaker joins Mississippi Archives and History board

July 19, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former state lawmaker is the newest member of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Board of Trustees.

Trustees met Friday and elected Kimberly L. Campbell of Jackson to finish a six-year term started by former state Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson, the department said in a news release Monday. Campbell will serve through 2022.

The department is responsible for collecting and preserving historical documents. It also administers various museums and historic sites.

Anderson had served on the nine-member Archives and History board since 2007, when he was chosen to fill another person’s unexpired term. He was reelected in 2010 and 2016, and is the board’s most recent president.

Anderson served last year on a commission that recommended a new state flag design after lawmakers retired the old state flag that included the Confederate battle emblem. Voters approved the new design in November.

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Campbell is an attorney and is state director of AARP. She served in the state House of Representatives from 2008 to 2016.

The nine-member Archives and History board was established in 1902. Its members have always nominated their own successors, and those nominees have been confirmed by the state Senate.

In March, the Mississippi House killed a Senate bill that would have changed the way board members are chosen. The proposal said the Archives and History board could recommend nominees, but the governor or lieutenant governor could ignore those recommendations and nominate any person they want. The nominees would have still needed Senate confirmation.

Historians opposed the proposal, saying it could have politicized the way Mississippi preserves and presents its history.