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No last minute candidates qualify for Lafayette County judicial races

At the end of Friday’s deadline for candidates to qualify for judicial elections, three people will be vying for the Place One seat in the 18th Chancery Court District, currently held by Judge Glenn Alderson.

Alderson announced late last year that he would not be seeking re-election.

Qualifying to run to replace him are Lawrence “Larry” Little, Sarah J. Liddy and Carnelia Fondren.

The 18th Chancery Court is located in the Lafayette County Chancery Building and hears cases from Benton, Calhoun, Marshall, Tippah and Lafayette counties.

Little has been an attorney for 40 years. He served as District Attorney for the Third Circuit of the state of Mississippi for 10 years and as the Oxford Municipal Judge for 19 years. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law and a state-approved mediator.

Liddy has been practicing law for 25 years, primarily taking on family law matters including divorce, child custody and support, adoptions, wills and estates and real estate issues. For the past 18 years, she’s served as Youth Court Referee and has also served as interim Youth Court Referee for Benton and Tippah counties.

Fondren earned her law degree in 1993. She was managing attorney for North Mississippi Rural Legal Services for three years before becoming a criminal investigator with the Third Circuit Court and assistant district attorney from 1996 to 2005 when she left to open her own practice, Fondren Law Firm. She specializes in family law, civil and criminal trial practice work involving families, domestic abuse, housing law, disability issues, social security and elderly rights.

Place Two Chancery Court Judge Bob Whitwell will run unopposed.

Circuit Court judicial race

In the Third Circuit Court, incumbent judges Andrew Howorth, Place 1 and John A. Gregory, Place 3 had no one qualify to run against them; however, Judge J. Kelly Luther, Place 2 may be feeling a sense of déjà vu.

Holly Springs attorney Shirley C. Byers has qualified to run against Luther – again. She ran against him in the 2014 election; however, Luther received more than 70 percent of the votes. In 2010, she ran for Third Circuit Court judge against incumbent Judge Robert Elliot. She served as a Circuit Court Judge for the Fourth District in the 1990s.

Luther served as an assistant district attorney for 19 years, as county attorney for Pontotoc County and as Pontotoc Municipal Judge before being elected to the Third Circuit District in 2014.

The Third Circuit District includes Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties.

Absentee voting available for Senate/House races

Absentee voting is currently open for the primary election for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for the First Congressional District on June 5.

Absentee ballots are available at the Lafayette County Circuit Court.

Only disabled voters and voters outside the county can get their ballots mailed. All others will have to come by the office between 8 a.m. And 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

“We will also be open for absentee voting on Saturdays, May 26th and June 2nd from 8 a.m. until noon,” said Circuit Court Clerk Baretta Mosley.

The last day to cast an absentee ballot will be June 2.

Running in the U.S Senate race are David Baria, Jensen Bohren, Jerone Garland, Victor G. Maurice Jr., Omeria Scott and Howard Sherman.

In the U.S. House race, Randy Mack Wadkins is running unopposed.

Should there be a runoff election needed, it will be on June 26th.

Call the Circuit Clerk’s Office at 662-234-4951 if you have questions.