Tag Archives: judicial election

Judicial Elections; Picking “Your” Divorce Judge

It is the season of qualifying for Judicial candidates.

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From now through May, persons qualified to run, may throw their hat in the ring to become your next family law judge. The requirements are fairly basic for Chancellor;  be at least 26 years of age, a practicing attorney for five years, and a citizen of the state for five years. Miss. Const. of 1890, Art. 6, §§153 and 154; Miss. Code Ann. §9-5-1, and pay a fee of $100 to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Below is the current listing and the geographical area that the Judges are in. There will be many more persons qualifying in the coming weeks.

District 1: Alcorn, Itawamba, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Lee, Tishomingo, Union

Stephen T. Bailey Chancery Court Judge 1, 4 *(The first number is the District, the second is the place.)

Bailey was recently appointed after the resignation of T.K. Moffett. Bailey was a solid choice for the appointment and will likely win even if opposed.

Jacqueline Mask Chancery Court Judge 1, 3

Current Chancellor.

Judge John Hatcher just announced his retirement which will mean another spot is available in this District.

District 4: Amite, Franklin, Pike, Walthall
Debbra K. Halford Chancery Court Judge 4, 1

Current Chancellor.

Wayne Smith Chancery Court Judge 4, 2

Current Chancellor.

District 5: Hinds County
Dewayne Thomas Chancery Court Judge 5, 1

Current Chancellor. Judge Thomas will have this position for as long as he wants it.

Hinds County will be very interesting to watch as the three other current Chancellors, Owens, Singletary, and Wise, have all considered retirement.

District 6: Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Kemper, Neshoba, Winston
Joseph Kilgore Chancery Court Judge 6, 1

Current Chancellor.

Rosalind H. Jordan Chancery Court Judge 6, 2

District 7: Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tunica
Catherine Farris-Carter Chancery Court Judge 7, 1

Current Chancellor.

District 9: Humphreys, Issaquena, Sharkey, Sunflower, Warren, Washington
Jane R. Weathersby Chancery Court Judge 9, 2

Current Chancellor.

Vicki Roach Barnes Chancery Court Judge 9, 3

Current Chancellor.

District 10: Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River, Perry
Rhea Sheldon Chancery Court Judge 10, 2

Current Chancellor.

Vanessa Jones Chancery Court Judge 10, 3

This is a race to watch. Judge Williams, I believe, is retiring, and this a large area with lots of attorneys and will be interesting to see who qualifies.

District 11: Holmes, Leake, Madison, Yazoo
Cynthia Lee Brewer Chancery Court Judge 11, 2

Current Chancellor.

James C. Walker Chancery Court Judge 11, 3

Current Chancellor.

I do not expect challengers to either sitting Judge, but it could happen.

District 12: Clarke, Lauderdale
Frances Smith Stephenson Chancery Court Judge 12, 1
Charles E. “Charlie” Smith Chancery Court Judge 12, 1

This is another race to watch. Long serving Judge Mason is retiring and there are multiple quality candidates for this position.

District 13: Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson, Smith
Gerald M. Martin  Chancery Court Judge 13, 2

Current Chancellor.

District 14: Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Webster
Gene Barton Chancery Court Judge 14, 1
Lee Ann Turner Chancery Court Judge 14, 1
Paula Drungole-Ellis Chancery Court Judge 14, 3
Roy A. Perkins Chancery Court Judge 14, 3

The judicial race for Starkville, Columbus, Westpoint, etc. will be fun to watch. All three current chancellors, Colom, Burns and Davidson, are retiring. This means there will be three new family law judges for this district. I expect a lot of candidates and several of the more talked about names have not yet qualified.

District 15: Copiah, Lincoln
Joseph Durr Chancery Court Judge 15

Judge Ed Patten is retiring.

District 16: George, Greene, Jackson- MS Coast (eastern half)
D. Neil Harris, Sr. Chancery Court Judge 16, 1

Current Chancellor.

Gary L. Roberts Chancery Court Judge 16, 2
David M. Allen Chancery Court Judge 16, 3
David C. Frazier Chancery Court Judge 16, 3
Mark A. Maples Chancery Court Judge 16, 3

District 18: Benton, Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah
Lawrence L. “Larry” Little Chancery Court Judge 18,1

Bob Whitwell Chancery Court Judge 18, 2

Current Chancellor.

District 20: Rankin County
John C. McLauren, Jr. Chancery Court Judge 20, 1

Current Chancellor.

Mel Coxwell Chancery Court Judge 20, 2
Troy F. Odom Chancery Court Judge 20, 2

Place 2 is a race to watch. Judicial stalwart John Grant is retiring and I expect 3-5 candidates for this position. It will also be a close race as those qualified, and expected to be, are all great candidates.

Haydn J. Roberts Chancery Court Judge 20, 3

Current Chancellor.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and has practiced in most Chancery Court districts in the State.

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VOTE TOMORROW: Court of Appeals- Jack Wilson vs. Ed Hannan

There is a run-off election tomorrow between the current Court of Appeals Judge Jack Wilson and the current Madison County Court Judge Ed Hannan for the Court of Appeals.

Judge Ed Hannan

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Judge Jack Wilson

You may read about each candidate at the site linked to their pics above. Judge Wilson was in the lead after last Tuesday’s vote, but did not have a majority, hence the runoff.

Judge Wilson was appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals by Gov. Phil Bryant effective July 1, 2015.  Since joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Wilson has participated in over 500 cases and has authored 78 published majority opinions for the Court — more than any other member of the Court — and another 15 separate opinions. Despite his youthful appearance, Judge Wilson has appellate court chops.

Judge Hannan  was first elected Madison County Court Judge in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2014. As County Court Judge he presides over Youth Court and the Special Court of Eminent Domain.  In 2011, he was appointed Special Circuit Judge by the Mississippi Supreme Court to preside over the then newly created Twentieth Circuit District Drug Court for Madison and Rankin Counties.  He serves as a Special Circuit Judge and Acting Circuit Judge in criminal and civil cases in Madison County.

This bloggers prediction? Low voter turnout for a run-off, but Jack Wilson takes it. He’s the incumbent and is backed by the majority in power.  He’s also a great candidate…

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and would ONLY have a dog in this fight if a Chancery case was appealed.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000

Rankin Chancery Judicial Election

Again?!? It seems there is a Judicial race every year. Normally, this is not the case, but the legislature saw fit to create new judicial positions and with the untimely passing of a sitting Chancellor, another election is around the corner.

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I’m not sure why a graduation cap is in this graphic.

Rankin County Mississippi will host a contested Chancery Judge election this fall. Contested in the nicest sense of the word!

Running as the incumbent is John McLaurin.

John McLaurin was selected by Governor Bryant to fill the vacancy left by Judge Dan Fairly’s passing. Judge McLaurin served as the Family Master for Rankin County since 2007, hearing the exact type of cases he now hears as a full-time Chancellor.

Judge McLaurin “has extensive legal experience with heavy emphasis in the chancery court system. He is a lifelong resident of Rankin County…” said Bryant.

McLaurin holds a bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Prior to taking the bench, he practiced law at McLaurin & McLaurin since 1976.

McLaurin is a lifelong member of Brandon First United Methodist Church. He and his wife, the late Carol Noel McLaurin, were married for 33 years. They have two adult children and two granddaughters. http://www.governorbryant.com/gov-bryant-appoints-john-mclaurin-jr-as-rankin-county-chancery-judge/

* As a point of interest, McLaurin is the great-great nephew of the former Governor of Mississippi, and U.S. Senator, Anselm McLaurin, and is related to the late Robin Williams.

Running as the challenger is James “Jim” Nix.

Jim has practiced law for over 35 years and same was devoted almost exclusively to matters which are within the substantive jurisdiction of the Chancery Court.

You may remember attorney Nix from the last contested Rankin County Chancery race.

Neither candidate has really cranked up their political machines. However, this will be the most civil and professional contested race, ever, in Mississippi.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney and wishes both candidates could win.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law Firm You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms