Election 2016 in Mississippi: Four hoping for Ann Lamar’s seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court

Published 9:39 pm Saturday, November 5, 2016


There are other races on Tuesday’s ballot besides the highly anticipated presidential election.

Locally, two seats will be up for grabs in the Lafayette County School Board race.

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Incumbent Johnny Parker will have two challengers for his District 1 seat with Brent Larson and Bryan White.

Parker has been on the school board since 2004 and also currently serves as the school board secretary. He has owned his own local business for more than 30 years.

Larson and his wife Christy and are both lifelong residents of Lafayette County and have two children, Will (17) and Sam (14) who are students in the school district.

He says his emphasis will be on the school district as a whole and not just one particular area.

“I believe this is imperative as the population of Oxford and Lafayette County is ever growing at a rapid rate,” Larson said..

White is a graduate of Lafayette High School and is married with two small children.

In District 2, incumbent Bob Colston will be challenged by Kimberly Harwell East. Colston is also in his second term as a school board member. He spent 32 years a postal worker for the U.S. Postal Service.

East is a graduate of Lafayette High School and studied elementary education at Ole Miss.

Four seats on the Mississippi Supreme Court will be on the general election ballot on Tuesday. However, Lafayette County voters will decide the race for the District 3, position 1 seat being vacated by Justice Ann Lamar who is retiring after serving 10 years on the court.

Each justice elected to the court serves an eight-year term. Mississippi holds no primary election for judicial candidates. The election is nonpartisan.

The 33-county Northern District stretches from Columbus, Kosciusko and Greenwood to the Tennessee state line.

John Brady is a Columbus business attorney who has represented small and large businesses and their employees, as well as governmental entities, law enforcement and those in the medical profession for more than two decades. He is a shareholder in the Columbus office of Mitchell, McNutt & Sams law firm.

He has trial experience in both Mississippi and federal courts. Brady received his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University in 1989 and his law degree. from Mississippi College School of Law in 1994.

He’s served on the Mississippi Bar Executive Committee, as part president for the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association and Lowndes County Bar Association. Brady and his wife, Jennifer, who is originally from DeSoto County, have two daughters, Rachel and Hannah.

Robert “Bobby” P. Chamberlin,of Hernando, is currently a judge for the 17th Judicial District of Mississippi. He was re-elected after running unopposed on Nov. 4, 2014, for a term that begins in 2015 and will expire in 2018. He has been a judge in a circuit including DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties since 2004. Before that, he was a Republican state senator representing DeSoto County from 2000 to 2004 and a municipal judge in Hernando.

Chamberlin received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree and his law degree from the University of Mississippi Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1990.

He and his wife, Kim have a son, William.

James Thomas Kitchens, Jr., better known as Jim Kitchens, is a judge for the 16th Judicial District of Mississippi. He joined the court in 2003. He was re-elected in November 2014 for a term that begins in 2015 and expires in 2018.

Kitchens earned a B.B.A. in economics from Mississippi State University in 1989. He received his paw degree from Mississippi College in 1993 and was admitted to the bar that same year.

Before serving as a circuit judge, he as assistant district attorney for the 16th Judicial District and before that served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Dan M. Lee on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Kitchens has served as the secretary and vice-chair and chair of the Mississippi Conference of Circuit Judges.  In 2007, he served as the vice-chair of the Mississippi Task Force on Justice Court Reform. He currently serves on the Curriculum Committee for the Mississippi Conference of Circuit Judges and on the Legal Studies Advisory Board at Mississippi University for Women. He and his wife, Jo Ann live in Columbus.

Steve Crampton of Tupelo has been an attorney for 30 years with experience in constitutional litigation, civil rights, civil and criminal law and religious and property owners rights.

Crampton received his law degree from the University of New Mexico.

He’s a published writer quoted in many state and national publications and has provided expert commentary on CNN, CBS, MSNBC, FOX News, and O’Reilly Factor on social policy and matters of constitutional law. He’s licensed to practice in four states and numerous federal district courts and most federal courts of appeal including the U.S. Supreme Court.

He is vice president for Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel and general counsel for American Family Association and chief counsel for its Center for Law and Policy.

He and his wife, Shelley have seven children.

Returning to the Supreme Court without opposition is Justice Jimmy Maxwell of Oxford, in District 3, Place 2, appointed in early 2016 by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the vacancy caused by then-justice David Chandler’s resignation. Maxwell served on the Mississippi Court of Appeal, District 1, Place 1 when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. Jim M. Greenlee, also from Oxford, was appointed by Bryant to replace Maxwell. Greenlee is running in Tuesday’s election unopposed.

Managing Editor Rob Sigler contributed to this report.