JFP Voter Guide - County Offices | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JFP Voter Guide - County Offices

District Attorney

Incumbent Faye Peterson, a Democrat who graduated from Jackson State and Mississippi College, says that her record shows that she is a strong prosecutor and has worked diligently to clear a backlog left by her predecessor, Ed Peters. She, however, is regularly accused in the media of plea-bargaining too many cases, a charge she denies. She was appointed by Gov. Musgrove in 2001 to replace Peters, who retired after many years.

Republican Wilson Carroll, a private attorney for Phelps Dunbar and a Harvard graduate, has never tried a criminal case, although he feels his experience in private practice and a desire to organize the D.A.'s office are assets. He has strong backing from Republicans inside and outside Jackson and has waged a negative campaign both against Peterson and against the city of Jackson, charging that the city is one of the most dangerous cities in America (based on 2001 statistics). To date, Peterson has publicly ignored the bulk of his acusations and refused to debate.

Hinds County Coroner
After a well-publicized race in 2002 against Republican incumbent Robert Martin, Mississippi's first African-American female coroner, Sharon Grisham-Stewart, a Democrat, discovered a coroner's office that had been completely robbed of its files. Apparently the embittered 20-year occupant, Martin, had packed everything and carted it home. The state's attorney general demanded that the last five years' worth of information be restored to the office, but anybody looking for coroner information prior to that must contact Martin, who is no longer associated with the office in any official capacity.

But he'd like to be. Adding more drama, Robert Martin is running to recover the Hinds County Coroner position. Grisham-Stewart said that the Republican's chances of wining are unlikely in Hinds County.

Hinds County Attorney
Democrat Malcolm Harrison is a Provine High School and JSU graduate who has occupied the county attorney's office since 2000. Harrison said the community needs more positive male role models, and he regularly visits schools, pushing students to listen to parents and teachers and study hard.

His opponent is deputy city attorney Mark McLeod, a Republican who isn't expected to put up much of a fight against Harrison.

Chancery Clerk
Democrat Eddie Jean Carr is the Jackson City Clerk, and faces Republican incumbent L. Glynn Pepper. Carr was previously the city clerk in Bolton and has 17 years experience in local government. She says she wants to improve office "efficiency." Pepper worked as Hinds County tax collector for 17 years before winning this office in 1999. He has an accounting degree and previously worked in the state auditor's office.

Tax Collector
Republican incumbent Bill Burrow will face Democratic challenger Eddie Fair. Fair owns a van-rental company and operates an Econotax franchise in Jackson. He told the Clarion-Ledger that he would allow religious organization to get a tax break on ad valorem and property taxes, including license plates for church vans and buses.

Tax Accessor
First elected in 1983, incumbent Hinds County Tax Assessor Mike Barnes, a Democrat, is being challenged by 27-year old Republican candidate Quentin Matthews. Matthews works for Integrity Online and is pushing for more minority hiring in the Tax Assessor's office as well as "a real assessment of all the properties in Hinds County every single year." Barnes maintains that an annual assessment is an unnecessary expense, since the tax rolls are up to date and that his staff is the most qualified and experienced in the state.

Circuit Clerk
Incumbent Democrat Barbara Dunn faces Republican Tony Sampayo and Independent candidate Derrick Thomas in the general election. Dunn, who has been circuit clerk for nineteen years, has computerized the office's records and has worked with the Legislature to get mail-in voter registration passed.

Constable - District 1
Incumbent Republican Lloyd Paxton, a former Jackson police and reservoir patrol officer, was elected constable in 1999 and faces Democratic challenger Jerry Moore.

Justice Court Judge - District 1
Incumbent Republican Wayne Herbert has been a justice court judge since 1988. He has served on the Mississippi Judicial Advisory Committee and has presided over the Justice Court Judges Association. Democrat Nicki Martinson Boland, an attorney, is a former government account manager and associate state tax commissioner.

Supervisor - District 5
Incumbent Democrat George Smith, first elected to the board in 1980, was an economic adviser under former Gov. Cliff Finch. Republican Linda McCarty is a political consultant and former member of the Hinds County Executive Committee. Both face Independent candidate George Jefferson in the general election.

State Representative - District 56
Conservative Republican Phillip Gunn of Clinton faces challenger Democrat Paige Eaves Gill from Madison. [This race has been corrected since the print version appeared.]

State Representative - District 57
Democratic incumbent Rep. Ed Blackmon is challenged by Republican Richard Perry.

State Representative - District 60
Republican incument John L. Moore is challenged by Independent Ryan White and Vernon Ray White of the Constitution Party.

State Representative - District 62
Republican Tom Weathersby takes on Independent Shane Easley.

State Representative - District 68
Democratic nominee Credell Calhoun, a specialist in guidance counseling at JSU whose campaign emphasizes education and crime prevention, is running against Republican David Harrington, of Clinton.

State Representative - District 71
Candidates for this seat are incumbent Republican John Reeves and Independent Jenny Morris.

State Representative - District 73
Incumbent Republican Jim Ellington, a former engineer with MP&L and a partner is Ellington Electric Supply, faces a challenge from Hinds County Democrat Jay Loftin.

State Representative - District 75
Democrat Tracy Arender takes on Republican Frank M. Herring.

State Representative - District 76
Incumbent Democrat Greg Holloway of Hazelhurst is challenged by Republican William "Dub" Lloyd of Hermanville.

State Senator - District 21
Republican Joseph C. Thomas takes on Independent Leroy Lacy.

State Senator - District 29
Incumbent Republican Richard White was first elected to the State Senate in 1989. He is Vice Chairman of the Veterans & Military Affairs committee. Democratic challenger Dewayne Thomas served in Mississippi House for 9 years and has been a Hinds County prosecutor for the past 8 years. Both candidates stress education, crime prevention and community development.

State Senator - District 35
Republican Perry Lee takes on Democrat Daniel Ware.

State Senator - District 36
Incumbent Democrat Lynn Posey of Union Church is chairman of the Wildlife & Fisheries committee. He faces Republican challenger Charles H. "Charlie" Stogner of Clinton.

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