JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Colleagues are applauding longtime state Rep. Tyrone Ellis as he returns to Mississippi's House chambers after retiring in June.

Representatives recognized the Starkville Democrat Tuesday for his 37 years of service in the House. As one of the longest-serving representatives at the time of his 2017 retirement, Ellis led House Democrats for several years beginning in 2008.

Ellis had two years left in his four-year term when he left. After a November special election for the seat, Democrat Cheikh Taylor now represents District 38.

Ellis tells representatives that God told him it was time to move on from his decades-long career and spend more time with his family.

Republican House Speaker Phillip Gunn says that Ellis managed to leave his office with integrity after making a difference.