Jimmy ‘Kingfish' Hendrix Running for Judge, After All | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jimmy ‘Kingfish' Hendrix Running for Judge, After All

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James "Jimmy" Hendrix is a Republican candidate for Hinds County District 1 Justice Court Judge.

It looks like James "Jimmy" Hendrix aka Kingfish aka Jackson Jambalaya is in the race for Hinds County Justice Court Judge for District 1, after all. Hendrix, a Republican who writes under the moniker "Kingfish" on his Jackson Jambalaya blog, filed paperwork to run for the seat earlier this year, but had not actively campaigned or posted any campaign announcements or ads on his local blog, which has featured presumably paid political advertisements for other local candidates for months. (The advertisements do not indicate if they are paid or who paid for them.)

A Facebook page for Hendrix's campaign appears to have gone live Friday, Nov. 4, and he linked to it this morning in an ad on his blog, and added a post, "Kingfish for Judge." Hendrix, 45, boasts that he is the only candidate in the race who possesses a law degree (from Mississippi College in 1995) and vows to strengthen animal-cruelty laws and expose political corruption. He is running against incumbent Don Palmer, a Democrat.

"The less-fortunate usually cannot afford a lawyer much less appeal a bad decision to County Court. They need a Justice Court Judge who has at least graduated from law school and is not easily hoodwinked by the law factories," Hendrix wrote on his blog today.

Records show that Hendrix changed his name from James Whitehead in the 1990s. He lives in a Belhaven apartment on Fortification Street and also has an Old Canton Road family address. His Facebook page says he has been a resident of northeast Jackson for 20 years. He spent several years in Baton Rouge, La.

The Mississippi Bar Association does not have a James or Jimmy Hendrix listed as licensed to practice law in Mississippi, nor a James or Jimmy Whitehead. Justice-court judges were formerly known as "justices of the peace" and do not have to have a law degree. They process civil actions not to exceed $3,500 and misdemeanor criminal charges in accordance with section 9-11-11 of the Mississippi Code.

On Oct. 21, Hendrix was the target of an e-mail attempt to discredit him called "Kingfish Truth" that asked: "[W]ho is this 'Kingfish'? Does anyone really know ANYTHING about this mysterious person? Why did he have his last name legally changed from 'Whitehead' to 'Hendrix'?" The email asks several disparaging questions about Hendrix, but does not answer them.

Hendrix has refused several interview attempts with the Jackson Free Press about his candidacy and his background and to respond to the anonymous email about him. "After what your editor had to say about me last week, I don't have much to say to you," Hendrix told a reporter this morning, presumably referring to this paper's endorsement of his Democratic opponent Don Palmer.

"This is as much a vote against Palmer's listed opponent (as of press day) as for him. His opponent, James Hendrix, is a controversial local blogger who goes by various names and promotes often-anonymous trash talk on his site (and then sells candidates ads around it). Is he a serious candidate? It's hard to tell. He has refused an interview and told our reporters he is dropping out, but as of Nov. 1, his name was still on the ballot. Whatever his story of the day, this blogger of many names certainly has no business as a judge," the editors wrote in their endorsement of Palmer.

Hendrix also refused to grant interviews to the Jackson Free Press in October about his candidacy after several attempts, answering via text to say that he was not interested in talking to a reporter here for our "attack" story. After this paper reported that he was listed as a candidate, he texted that we should check our facts.

The blogger posts many documents to his site, but does not typically do interviews with subjects of his posts. He does not sign a name beyond his blogger pseudonym to his posts, but he occasionally writes a column for The Northside Sun under "James Hendrix," which also includes his photograph.

Hendrix' Facebook page says he received a bachelor's in biology from Mississippi College in 1992 and served from 1991 to 1995 in the 20th Special Forces Group as a reservist.
Comments to [e-mail missing].

Previous Comments

ID
165330
Comment

When there is a campaign ad in a post on JJ, the site always notes "This post is a paid advertisement."

Author
David McCarty
Date
2011-11-07T15:10:44-06:00
ID
165331
Comment

[hit post too soon]. I don't think that there's any pretense or confusion that there are paid ads by both Democrats & Republicans on the site--and that there have been for many moons now.

Author
David McCarty
Date
2011-11-07T15:13:43-06:00
ID
165332
Comment

So some of his blog posts are campaign ads themselves? Interesting. The political ads themselves do not say whether they're paid or by whom, apparently, so without him granting an interview so we can ask him, we cannot state that they're paid advertisements. And Ryan said he didn't find campaign reports on either candidate in that race. And I don't know that I've encountered a situation before where someone is collecting money for political ads while they are running for an office themselves. In the rare instances where I've heard of a media-type person running for office, they typically step down to run so you don't hear of campaigning and taking campaign funds being intermingled like this. It's an odd situation. Should he be willing to answer questions about his candidacy, we'd like to ask him why he didn't reveal on his blog sooner that he was on the ballot for this judge seat. And whether other candidates who were (presumably) paying him for ads knew that he was running for office. It seems like an obvious question under the circumstances. And, of course, we'd be happy to publish his response to that email that went around, assuming he's seen it. We try to reveal as much as possible about anonymous campaign shenanigans.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-11-07T15:13:59-06:00
ID
165333
Comment

Speaking of campaign shenanigans, Ryan (R.L.) is still collecting mailers, audio recordings of robocalls and the like. Email him whatcha got: rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com. Thanks, all.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-11-07T15:47:21-06:00
ID
165336
Comment

I just don't think that it matters that his site runs ads. There's nothing I am aware of that prohibits him from running a site, or newspaper, or TV station, that would bar him from having them. The email was sent to me a few weeks ago and I thought it was a piece of trash. It was just extremely vague personal attacks. I also just don't see the point of harping on the name change. I don't think that he's ever hid it, I don't think that it really matters, and it doesn't impact anything. It's not like he lives in the Jambalaya Cave--I've seen him several times at news events.

Author
David McCarty
Date
2011-11-08T12:58:20-06:00
ID
165337
Comment

David, no one is "harping" on the name change—but as a potential judge, don't you agree that the public has the right to know why he changed it. Not many grown men do that. It may well be a personal, unimportant reason (my niece changed her first name as a teenager, and it's no big deal). But simply answering the question would be a good thing -- especially from someone who runs his kind of site without a real name on there prominently. Put another way: If he wants to be a judge, he needs to answer questions about himself. As for paid ads, of course websites run them. No one said otherwise. But I've never heard of a situation where someone running for office ran a blog (not under his campaign name), took in money from other local candidates and then announced on the blog the day before the election that he was running. The whole thing is just weird, at best. And as a trained journalist, one wonders why someone tries to run for office that way, especially if it's someone who intentionally cloaks himself in mystery. I'm quite concerned about this; I just wrote a longer blog post about it. I mean it when I saw that Hendrix has displayed some good investigative skills; I also mean it when I say that it would be hasty to elect him to something. Of course, I've said that before with a certain mayoral candidate not wanting to answer questions, and not enough people would listen to me. But hey at least I said it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-11-08T13:05:42-06:00
ID
165338
Comment

Also, David, maybe you know the answer to this -- a question that dawned on me when I was editing this story yesterday. Are online political ads required to include that they are paid and who paid for them? I found this that indicated that they do, but saw some other posts indicating that they may not. Confusing, and it's press day, so no time to go down the rabbit hole.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-11-08T13:20:54-06:00

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