Runoffs Settle Judicial Races in Mississippi | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Runoffs Settle Judicial Races in Mississippi

In Hinds County, Jackson City Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes defeated state Rep. Kimberly Campbell in the race for county judge. Stokes will replace longtime County Court Judge Houston Patton, who did not seek re-election.

In Hinds County, Jackson City Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes defeated state Rep. Kimberly Campbell in the race for county judge. Stokes will replace longtime County Court Judge Houston Patton, who did not seek re-election. Photo by Jacob Fuller.

LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — Longtime Circuit Judge Billy Joe Landrum has lost a re-election bid to attorney Dal Williamson in Tuesday's runoff in Jones County.

Landrum had served on the bench for 28 years. His term ends in January.

Williamson, a native of Jones County, has practiced law for 34 years.

In north Mississippi, veteran prosecutor Kelly Luther of Ripley has defeated a former judge in the runoff for a circuit court post.

Luther, who has been an assistant district attorney for 19 years, defeated attorney Shirley Byers of Holly Springs in Tuesday's runoff. Complete, but unofficial, returns showed Luther with 76 percent of the vote.

Byers' was a judge in the Mississippi Delta during the 1990s.

Luther will succeed retiring Judge Robert Elliott in a circuit court district that includes Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties.

In other judicial elections across the state:

— In Lee County, Charles "Chuck" Hopkins defeated Perry Lansdell in a special election for justice court judge.

— In Hinds County, Jackson City Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes defeated state Rep. Kimberly Campbell in the race for county judge. Stokes will replace longtime County Court Judge Houston Patton, who did not seek re-election.

In another Hinds County Court judge race, incumbent Bill Skinner defeated attorney Malcolm Harrison. Skinner has served as county court judge since 2007.

— In Adams County, Assistant District Attorney Walt Brown was elected county court judge. Brown defeated Justice Court Judge Patricia Dunmore in Tuesday's runoff. Brown will take office in January.

— In south Mississippi, Chris Schmidt was elected to a circuit judge post that spans Harrison, Stone and Hancock counties. Schmidt defeated Robert Fant Walker in Tuesday's runoff. Schmidt has 19 years of legal experience, 15 of which were as a prosecutor. Walker has served five years as a Gulfport municipal court judge and worked as an assistant district attorney.

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