Sunday, February 23, 2014

A brief, early look at the Hinds County Circuit and Chancery judicial races

2014 is the year of judicial elections in Mississippi, and the Secretary of State's website has the list of qualifying judicial candidates across the state.  The list is admittedly incomplete, as the qualifying deadline isn't until May 9th.  But let's take a look at where we are in the Hinds County races so far.

The Hinds County Circuit and Chancery Courts are unique in that they serve as the initial battleground for many actions involving state agencies.  Just last year, for example, there was the injunction signed by Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd concerning the open-carry law, and the fight over public records from the Public Service Commission held before Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas.

There are four chancery court judges in Hinds County, and four circuit court judges.  There will be no retirements in 2014, as all eight of the judges have qualified for re-election.

Only one Hinds judge has drawn a challenger to date, and that's first-term Circuit Court Judge Jeff Weill.  Ali ShamsidDeen, a Jackson Municipal Court Judge, has filed to run against Weill, setting up a partial rematch of the 2010 race to replace the then-retiring Judge Swan Yerger.  In that race, Weill received 8,557 votes, as opposed to ShamsidDeen's 3,541 and Bruce Burton's 1,955.

There is still plenty of time between now and May 9, 2014, so we may see some new entrants in these races.  I'll write more after the qualifying deadline.

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