Congressman Gregg Harper's exit interview

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The new year means new beginnings for Congressman Gregg Harper and Mississippi’s Third Congressional District. But before he sorts out what’s next, he chats with DC Correspondent Alana Austin about his decade in office.

On his way out the door -- Republican Representative Gregg Harper gave freshmen lawmakers their crash course on Capitol Hill. He says going through that training program one last time is bittersweet.

“It helps you recall what a special place this is and having the privilege of serving the state of Mississippi these last 10 years has been the greatest honor I’ve ever had in my life," said Harper.

Over the past decade, Harper helped redirect taxpayer funding for political conventions into child cancer research. He also set up a Congressional internship program for students with intellectual disabilities -- an issue close to his heart given his adult son has special needs.

Now, he says he’s excited to find new ways to be an ambassador for Mississippi.

“We don’t know yet what we’ll be doing next year. We’re excited about whatever the next opportunity that God will provide and we’ll continue to represent Mississippi in an unelected capacity," said Harper.

Congressman-elect Michael Guest (R) will take over Harper’s seat on January 3rd.

Harper’s advice to Guest -- continue using the Congressional seat to boost resources for Naval Air Station Meridian, and to see himself as an unofficial salesman for the region’s economy.

“If you can just get someone to come in from out of state to look at the people, at what we have to offer, you can’t get ‘em away. So it sells itself, and we'll continue to do that,” said Harper.

As Harper weighs his options, he says he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and baby grandson. Harper says he’s not currently planning a run for another office, but he’s also not ruling one out in the future.

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