Defeated In Senate Race, Gumm Leaving State
Jay Paul Gumm, former state senator defeated in his reelection bid last November, is leaving the state.
The Stone County Economic Development Partnership in Mississippi has selected Gumm as its new executive director.
Tim Adam, board member and chair of the search committee, said, “This was an exhaustive search and we looked at candidates from across the region. Jay Paul has an impressive background in both economic development policy and practice. We are fortunate to have someone with his talent and background who will be working on behalf of the businesses and interests of Stone County.”
Gumm, 47, is a native of Durant. For the past eight years, he served that area as state senator. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Durant (Okla.) Area Chamber of Commerce. In that position, he wrote and advocated passage of the community’s first economic development plan, which was the foundation for unprecedented job growth over the past decade.
“Stone County has a solid foundation and amazing potential, which is why this opportunity is so exciting for my family and me,” said Gumm. “We are very impressed with the area and its people. Recent infrastructure improvements and business investments show a county headed in the right direction; I am excited to be a part of continuing that progress.”
Also, Gumm said small towns like those in Stone County are critical to the next wave of economic growth. “I grew up in a small town and love the quality of life they offer for families,” he said. “The sense of community the residents share is priceless and it is clear the people of Stone County share the values on which prosperity and growth are based. That is a huge plus as we work to ensure prosperity for the existing business community in Stone County and those companies looking for the same quality of life.”
Local leaders who were a part of the search committee expressed enthusiasm for the selection. Dale Bond, president of the Board of Supervisors, said, “Jay Paul's experience working with state legislators and economic development leaders should help us develop new approaches for bringing business and industry to our county. I think he represents the economic development vision we need.”
“As mayor of the City of Wiggins, I look forward to working with Mr. Gumm. His emphasis on bringing all the players to the table will strengthen Stone County and Wiggins' efforts to create and bring jobs for our citizens,” said Jerry Alexander. “We welcome Jay Paul and his family to our community.”
Gumm is a product of public schools and is a graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. During his time as senator, he was known as one of Oklahoma’s fiercest advocates for economic development and job creation, quality public schools and children’s issues.
He and his wife, Deena, are the parents of Jacob. The family, including his mother-in-law will be relocating to Stone County. Gumm will be on the job beginning February 1.