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Lafayette County Bar Association to host Judicial Candidate Forum

The Lafayette County Bar Association will host a Meet the Candidates forum this Thursday at the Chancellor’s House hotel at 4 p.m.

Candidates in attendance will be Carnelia Fondren, Sarah J. Liddy and Lawrence L. “Larry” Little, all running for Chancery Court Judge, Post 1; and Shirley C. Byers and J. Kelly Luther, running for Circuit Court Judge, Post 2. Kevin Frye, president of the Lafayette County Bar Association, said the event will be a way for fellow attorneys to learn more about candidates prior to election day.

“It’s our role as the county bar association to help keep the members of the bar informed about what’s going on in our community from the perspective of practicing attorneys and what is of interest to us,” Frye said. “What we do is provide a forum for candidates to introduce themselves and to answer some questions from members of the bar related to their service or potential service as a judge.”

Every judicial election year, Frye said the bar association holds a candidate forum. The last one was held in 2014 at Bouré.

The forum will be a more casual setting, with Frye acting as moderator while candidates answer questions submitted by bar association members, introduce themselves and discuss their goals for the election. It’s also a chance for bar members to arm themselves with knowledge to inform the public, Frye said.

“Personally, every time there’s a judicial election, I get questions from friends in the community who are interested in the election but may not have as much familiarity with the issues the court faces and with the people running,” he said. “Often, I think as lawyers in the community we get asked about this so it’s an opportunity for us to get in front of (the candidates) and ask why they’re running.”

Chancery Judge Bob Whitwell and Circuit Court judges Andrew Howorth and John Gregory will not be speaking in the forum, as they are all running unopposed. The forum is not open to the public.