After serving as Southern District Transportation Commissioner since 2012, Tom King announced he will not seek reelection on Wednesday, Nov. 16 via the “The Extra Mile,” a podcast produced by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). King is currently in his third term and serves as Chair of the Mississippi Transportation Commission. He will fulfill the remainder of his term and retire effective Dec. 31, 2023.
“After much consideration, after talking to my family and my wife and in prayer, I have decided not to seek reelection,” said King. “It’s been an honor to serve the public. I appreciate all the support that people have given me, and I’ve always been fair. If you do what’s right, you don’t have a problem sleeping, and I feel like that’s what I’ve done throughout my career.”
Prior to his tenure as Southern District Transportation Commissioner, King served as a state lawmaker for nearly 20 years. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1993, and in 2000, he began his tenure in the Senate.
As Chairman of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, King authored resolutions that honored the achievements of persons throughout his district and the state. Most notably, King authored Senate Bill 3181—the $300 million bond bill for highways and bridges and Senate Bill 3014, known as the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Act, which promotes safety for cyclists on the roadways. In 2005 he authored Senate Bill 2514 that created the Mississippi Wireless Communications Commission, which ensures the state’s emergency responders and law enforcement have the means to communicate regardless of any disaster.
“Commissioner King has served the state well for more than 30 years of his life,” said Brad White, MDOT executive director. “He has a legacy of accomplishments as a statesman and will certainly be missed at MDOT. I look forward to working with him in his last year as commissioner to, in his words, ‘keep Mississippi moving’ for the good of all Mississippians.”
King is a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served his country in the Air Force as an Air Policeman. He is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, American Legion and VFW. He has received many professional awards and honors including the 2022 Friendship Oak Award from the University of Southern Mississippi; 2011 Mississippi Municipal League Legislator of the Year; 2010 Hattiesburg’s Veteran of the Year; American Legion Meritorious Service Award in 2007 and Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Legislator of the Year in 2002.
He lives in Hattiesburg with his wife, the former Susan Lynn Patterson, and has two children and two grandchildren.