Last modified on June 15, 2021, at 15:12

Dennis DeBar

Dennis Lee DeBar, Jr.

Mississippi State Senator for
District 43 (George, Greene,
and Wayne counties)
Assumed office 
January 2016
Preceded by Phillip Gandy 
Succeeded by  

Mississippi State Representative
for District 105 (Forrest, George, Greene,
Perry, and Wayne counties)
In office
Preceded by James Shaun Walley
Succeeded by Roun McNeal

Born October 25, 1971
Citizenship American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Porter DeBar
Children Nathan and Leilani DeBar
Residence Leakesville
Greene County
Alma mater University of Central Florida

Mississippi College School of Law

Occupation Lawyer 
Religion United Methodist

Dennis Lee DeBar, Jr. (born October 25, 1971), is a lawyer from Leakesville, Mississippi, who has since 2016 represented District 43 in the Mississippi State Senate. A Republican, his district includes George, Greene, and Wayne counties in the southeastern portion of his state.[1]

DeBar graduated from the  University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, and the Mississippi College School of Law in the capital city of Jackson. DeBar served in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota. He continued in the Air Force Reserves while engaged in the private practice of law. A United Methodist, he and his wife, the former Kelley Porter, have two children.[2]

In 2011, DeBar was elected to House District 105, when the Democrat incumbent, James Shaun Walley (born 1977), did not seek reelection. DeBar won the general election for the House seat on November 8, 2011, by defeating the Democratic nominee, Dale Mitchell Kimble, and the Independent Latricia Ann Cornelson. He polled 4,160 votes (50 percent) to Kimble's 3,440 (41.3 percent), and Cornelson's 725 (8.7 percent). After the one term in the House from 2012 to 2016, DeBar was elevated to the state Senate. In the 2015 Republican primary he unseated incumbent Senator Phillip Gandy, 3,554 votes (55.1 percent) to 2,893 (44.9 percent).[3] 

In the general election for state senator held on November 3, 2015, he handily defeated the Democrat Towana A. Wright, 12,295 votes (76 percent) to 3,871 (24 percent).[4]

DeBar is the vice chairman of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee and a member of these other committees: (1) Appropriations,  (2) Corrections, (3) Drug Policy, (4) Energy, (5) Enrolled Bills, and  (6) Judiciary A.[2]

In 2012, Representative DeBar voted to authorize prayer in public schools and to require photo identification as a condition for voting in Mississippi.  In 2013, he opposed the failed bill which would have made school superintendents appointive. In 2014, he voted to prohibit abortions in Mississippi past twenty weeks of gestation of the unborn. He also backed the proposal that abortion counseling not be mentioned by crisis pregnancy centers in the state, but that measure failed to gain Senate approval. In 2015, he voted to allow "wrongful death" lawsuits regarding the life of the unborn. That same year he voted to repeal the state income tax.[5]

In 2016, Senator DeBar voted to prohibit state funds to the large abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. He backed HB 1523 to guarantee within Mississippi protections for religious beliefs and matters of moral conscience in regard to Christians being mandated to service homosexual activities. He co-sponsored the prohibition against local governments pursuing sanctuary city policies. In 2017, he backed the legislation which authorizes additional methods of execution in Mississippi and co-sponsored another measure to declare as a hate crime the targeting of law-enforcement officers by the lawless element. He voted to retain a private contractor to audit Medicaid.[5]

See also

Other Mississippi Republican state senators (incomplete listing):


  1. Dennis DeBar, Jr.. Retrieved on October 18, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dennis DeBar's Biography. Retrieved on October 17, 2017.
  3. Dennis DeBar. Retrieved on October 18, 2017.
  4. General election returns. Mississippi Secretary of State (November 3, 2015). Retrieved on October 18, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dennis DeBar's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on October 17, 2017.