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Many local races in Nov. 6 election are uncontested

With one week left until Mississippians go to the polls for the general election, many locals might be surprised to learn that several elections impacting Lafayette County feature individuals running unopposed.

In five of the seven elections on the upcoming ballot, the incumbent has no opponent. Two of those campaigns fall under Circuit Court 3 – an area which serves Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah, and Union Counties – where Place 1 Judge Andrew K. Howorth and Place 3 Judge John A. Gregory are each running unopposed.

Place 2 judge Kelly Luther, the incumbent, has been challenged by Shirley K. Byers. Byers, an attorney based in Holly Springs, is again running against Luther.

Byers mounted a campaign in 2014 where Luther received more than 70 percent of the votes. Luther was elected at Third Circuit Judge in 2014 after serving as assistant district attorney in Pontotoc County for 19 years.

Chancery Court 18 

While incumbent Bob Whitwell is running unopposed in the Chancery Court, Place 2 race, a new judge will be elected to the Place 1 position in November. Judge Glenn Alderson announced in January that he would not seek re-election after serving for 20 years, telling the EAGLE that he plans to retire at the end of his current term. Running to fill Alderson’s post are Carnelia Fondren, Sarah J. Liddy and Larry L. Little.

Fondren earned her law degree in 1993 from the University of Mississippi and served as managing attorney for North Mississippi Rural Legal Services for three years before becoming a criminal investigator with the Third Circuit Court. She was assistant district attorney in Mississippi’s Third Circuit Court 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.

Liddy has practiced 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.

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

Other local races 

In other local judicial elections, Donna Barnes is running unopposed for the Mississippi Court of Appeals, District 1, Position 2 seat. Judith Thompson is also running unopposed to retain her seat on the Lafayette County School Board. However, Position 4 for the LCSD is a race between incumbent LeRoy Thompson and Mike Gooch.