2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Dearing, Thames, Nunnelee, Kirby, Posey, Gollott, Jackson (15th), Morgan, Gordon, Harden, Browning, Frazier, Horhn, Williamson, Jordan, Fillingane, Moffatt, Lee (35th), Carmichael, King, Walley, Burton, Mettetal, White, Bryan, Hewes, Dawkins, Tollison, Walls, Wilemon, Jackson (11th), Hyde-Smith, Little, Thomas, Chaney, Brown, Jackson (32nd), Flowers, Ross, Butler, Lee (47th), Chassaniol, Albritton, Michel, Clarke, Doxey, Pickering, Simmons

Senate Concurrent Resolution 591

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Secretary of State Eric Clark, who has spent decades in dedicated public service, has announced that he will not seek a fourth term in office; and

     WHEREAS, Eric Clark is now serving his third term as Mississippi's Secretary of State.  He was elected to the statewide office in 1995 and reelected in 1999 and 2003; and

     WHEREAS, a native of Smith County born in 1951, Eric Clarke has focused the Secretary of State's Office on four primary goals:  protecting the integrity of the state's elections; promoting sound land management; strengthening Mississippi's business climate; and safeguarding the investments and charitable donations of Mississippians; and

     WHEREAS, as the state's Chief Elections Officer, Clark has reformed the state's campaign finance disclosure laws and secured passage of new measures to combat voter fraud.  He has expanded voter education programs with "Promote the Vote," which was recognized by CNN and TIME Magazine as the most successful student voter project in the country, and "Vote in Honor of a Veteran" to recognize the service and sacrifice of those who make our democracy possible; and

     WHEREAS, Clark oversees more than 1.3 million acres of state-owned land, including 16th section lands for the support of public education.  These lands, set aside at statehood, generate approximately $50 Million annually for schools in Mississippi.  Clark also serves as trustee of the public trust tidelands on the Gulf Coast.  In this capacity, he has promoted balanced economic development and led in the acquisition of more than 15,000 acres of endangered coastal wetlands, including Deer Island, for permanent preservation; and

     WHEREAS, as Secretary of State, Clark's office is the first point of contact for many businesses and industries in Mississippi.  To provide more efficient service, Clark overhauled the agency to provide faster, more efficient customer service.  He enforces the laws that protect Mississippi investors and has helped recover more than $26 Million in stolen money.  He has strengthened the climate for charitable giving in Mississippi, so that donors may have confidence their gifts go to those who really need help; and

     WHEREAS, prior to his election as Secretary of State, Clark served four terms as a member of the state House of Representatives.  He is a member of the Mississippi Economic Council, Mississippi Farm Bureau, Mississippi Forestry Association and Mississippi Historical Society.  He has been recognized with the American Family Association's "God and Country" Award for authoring the law that outlawed possession of child pornography in Mississippi, and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation's Conservation Legislator of the Year for his efforts to preserve natural lands on the Gulf Coast; and

     WHEREAS, Eric Clark is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John S. Clark.  His father also served Smith County in the Mississippi House of Representatives, and his mother, Mamie Craft Clark, was a respected community leader.  Clark was Valedictorian of his class at Taylorsville High School.  He received a Bachelor's Degree from Millsaps College, a Master's Degree from the University of Mississippi, and a Doctorate in History from Mississippi State University.  A former public school and community college teacher, Clark taught history and government at Mississippi College from 1989-1995.  He also manages his family tree farm in Smith County; and

     WHEREAS, Eric Clark is married to the former Karan Killebrew.  Karan is a registered nurse who grew up in Durant and Forest, Mississippi.  They are the parents of two children -- Charles, 19, and Catherine, 13.  The Clarks are active members of the First Baptist Church of Brandon, where Eric serves as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher; and

     WHEREAS, Eric Clark was a workhorse statesman who fought the tough battles that needed fighting, and his integrity, ethical leadership and work ethic set a model for other Mississippi officials to emulate:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Secretary of State Eric Clark for his distinguished service to the people of the State of Mississippi, which has enriched everyone with whom he was associated, and we wish Secretary Clark and his family much success in their future endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Secretary Clark and his family and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.