Ex-congressman hired to lobby for Mississippi city, county

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi congressman will be paid to lobby on behalf of a city and county in the southwestern part of the state.

Gregg Harper will receive $8,000 a month to do the work for Natchez and Adams County, the Natchez Democrat reported. Natchez Mayor Dan Gipson said the city and county will split the cost.

Harper is now working with the Jackson-based Watkins & Eager law firm. He is a Republican who served 10 years in the U.S. House in a district that stretched across the central part of Mississippi, from the southwestern corner that includes Natchez and Adams County, up to Starkville and areas along the state's eastern border. Harper chose not to seek re-election in 2018.

Adams County supervisors and Natchez aldermen approved the lobbying contract shortly before it went into effect Oct. 1.

Harper told aldermen that he would work in Mississippi's capital city to help Natchez and Adams County pursue state money and economic development projects.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic allows for more travel to Washington, Watkins & Eager would also work to procure federal support and money, Harper said.

“It is a matter of building up relationships on a federal level,” Harper said. “You as a board are not necessarily going to be in D.C. every week or every month. You might do one fly in a year. Pre-coronavirus, I was in D.C. two or three times a month and that is what we will be back to I believe later in the fall or sometime early next year."