JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephen B. Simpson, who announced last month he is running for state attorney general, said he will resign his current position Feb. 15.
"I believe I should step down," Simpson said on Friday, the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reported.
"It's in my best interest and the public's best interest before I become an official candidate."
Simpson, after receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees from Delta State University, was employed as probation and parole officer for the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Then, in 1985, he attended the University of Mississippi Law School, earning his law degree three years later.
Simpson practiced law with his brother, James C. Simpson Jr., and later served as an assistant district attorney for Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties.
In December 2000, Simpson was appointed by then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to serve as a circuit court judge for the Second Circuit Court.
In May 2008, Gov. Haley Barbour then appointed Simpson to serve in his most recent position as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. The department includes the state medical examiner's office, the Bureau of Narcotics and the Highway Safety Patrol.
Simpson told the Clarion-Ledger that he didn't know who would take over for him.
Meanwhile, Democrat Jim Hood is seeking his third term as attorney general.
Primaries will be held Aug. 2 and the general election is Nov. 8.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.