Tuesday, November 3, 2015, is election day.
There are a myriad of candidate seats, but this post concerns the local Family Law Judge races.
Madison, Leake, Holmes and Yazoo Counties.
Two candidates are vying for this seat.
The front-runner for this seat is James Walker. Walker has the backing of the majority of Family Law and Chancery practitioners in the district. Walker has also worked the beat for this seat. Walker has been at almost every festival, civic event, meet and greet and ribbon cutting in all four counties. If you do not know about this candidate, who he is and what he stands for at this point, it is not for his lack of effort. Walker is the current Family Master for the District; hearing Emergency Petitions,Temporary Hearings and the types of matters the current Chancellors hear. Walker is the former staff attorney for Judge Cynthia Brewer, former staff attorney for DHS and has his own private Chancery practice law firm.
Attorney, Pearlene Jones is the other candidate that has qualified to run. She is a resident of Lexington, in Holmes County. She formerly served as the County Prosecutor for Holmes County, a part-time, elected position.
Attorney Jones has been at events local to Holmes County, but I am unaware of any significant campaigning in the other counties.
James Walker will hands-down be elected to this post.
Rankin Counties race will be closer. There are 4 really good candidates for one spot.
I think Roberts is the front-runner due to having previously served as the Staff Attorney in Rankin County for Judges Grant and Fairly for the past eight years. He has been involved “in over 10,000 cases. Roberts is also serving as the Family Master. The Family Master is a part-time Judge hearing Emergency Petitions,Temporary Hearings and DHS matters.
Prentiss Grant “has lived and built his law practice in Rankin County for the past twenty-six years. Prentiss’ law practice is concentrated in family law, and eighty percent of his cases are tried in Rankin Chancery Court.”
Rusty Williard has “spent 30 years trying Chancery cases and 15 years [in] Rankin County.” Williard is a self-proclaimed “ruthless defender of the rights of children in chancery court and with juvenile defense matters, he is currently a certified Guardian Ad Litem as well as a Youth Court advocate.
Jim Nix, who I affectionately referred to as the ghost, has come on strong. He is running a “grass roots” campaign and not accepting any campaign contributions. “He has over 35 years experience in Chancery Law, is not a part of the Rankin County Power Group.” I called him the ghost because at qualifying time he was a relative “unknown” candidate. Since that time i have educated myself and I like Jim Nix.
For that matter, I like all 4 candidates. Rankin County would be well served by any of the candidates, but only one will win. I predict the necessity of a run-off. I think it will be between Roberts and Grant, but I think it will be a close race.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and encourages all citizens to vote on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
*Thompson Law Firm has contributed to the James Walker campaign and was on the Host Committee for a Meet and Greet for the Candidate.