Early Look at 2016 Judicial Elections
February 8, 2016 § 3 Comments
It’s early to be looking at 2016 judicial elections, since voting is not until November, and the qualification deadline is in May. So far, though, some interesting races are shaping up:
In the MSSC, District 1, Place 3, incumbent Justice Jim Kitchens faces a challenge from COA Judge Kenny Griffis. The district includes, from west to east, Bolivar, Sunflower, Washington, Humphreys, Holmes, Sharkey, Yazoo, Issaquena, Warren, Claiborne, Jefferson, Copiah, Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Leake, Scott, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Kemper, and Lauderdale Counties. Demographically, those counties are some of the richest and poorest, most and least populous, most Democratic and least Republican, and least Democratic and most Republican in the state.
[Some changes made since publication based on comments]
Newly-appointed Justice Jimmy Maxwell, elevated from the COA, is unopposed in Place 2, District 3, which is Justice David Chandler’s former post.
Circuit Judge James T. Kitchens and Columbus attorney John Brady qualified for Justice Lamar’s open Place 1. District 3 is all of north Mississippi bordering on the north of District 1.
COA Judge Ceola James is unopposed so far in District 2, Place 2.
In COA District 3, Place 1, newly-appointed Judge Jack Wilson will face Madison County Court Judge Ed Hannan. District 3 includes Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes, part of Attala, Winston, Noxubee, part of Leake, Neshoba, Kemper, part of Madison, Rankin, Scott, Newton, Lauderdale, Clarke, Jasper, Smith, part of Jones, and part of Wayne Counties.
COA Judge David Ishee has no opponent yet in District 5, Place 2.
In Chancery Court District 1 (Alcorn, Tishomingo, Prentiss, Union, Lee, Itawamba, Lee, Pontotoc, and Monroe Counties), Place 4, T. K. Moffett of Tupelo has qualified to run for the seat formerly held by the deceased Chancellor Talmadge Littlejohn.
And in Chancery Court District 20 (Rankin County), Place 1, John McLaurin and Jim Nix will face each other in November.
The next regularly-scheduled judicial election year for trial judges is 2018, but all of the appointments that were made in 2015 will make for an unusually busy judicial election cycle this year, since all of the appointees are required to stand for election at the next regular general election.