Greg Snowden is the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House of Representatives; the second highest-ranking officer of that body. Greg began his fourth consecutive term as a member of the Mississippi Legislature on January 3, 2012, having been re-elected with a solid majority vote in a three-way race with Democratic and Independent challengers. A Republican first elected to the Legislature over a two-term Democratic incumbent in 1999, and re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011, Greg serves District 83, which includes parts of both Lauderdale and Clarke counties, and portions of five municipalities: Meridian, Quitman, Marion, Stonewall and Enterprise. 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. Recognized nationally for his leadership, Greg serves on the Executive committees of both the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). 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, pictured on the right, 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 parents are pictured at left with a young George W. Bush, who made a campaign tour in Meridian in May, 1988 on behalf of his father, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. 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 Marion, Mississippi, and Katie Snowden Crawford, of Birmingham, Alabama. The Snowdens are the proud grandparents of five: Evangeline Dabbs, Trey Dabbs, Jane Darby Crawford, Annabelle Margaret Dabbs, and Rose Crawford.