Barnes, Gregory, Coleman add to coffers for judge races

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Three Northeast Mississippi candidates for judge stepped up their campaign fundraising during June, finance reports due Friday show.
Donna M. Barnes of Tupelo, seeking re-election to the Mississippi Court of Appeals, shows she’s raised $18,425 in the past month and has $20,707 on hand in her race against Tupelo attorney Kelly Mims.
Barnes shows year-to-date donations at $46,475 while Mims’ June report was not available online. He reported raising $18,425 during May with $7,624 cash.
Barnes’ top contributors at $2,500 each are the Contractor’s PAC, Road Builders PAC, Mississippi Realtors PAC and $5,000 from the Mississippi Medical PAC.
Okolona attorney John A. Gregory, who’s seeking the circuit court seat held by retiring Henry L. Lackey of Calhoun City, shows June 30 cash on hand of $12,315. He reports raising $22,649 thus far and spending $10,333 to win the post against two others.
He shows a $12,000 line of credit with the Bank of Okolona. His largest contributors during the 30-day reporting period were Mississippi Physicians PAC and the Mississippi Medical PAC, each for $2,500.
Lee S. Coleman, a Columbus attorney, raised $26,999 during June in his campaign for a new circuit seat in the Golden Triangle area. He reports cash on hand at $19,724.
According to the mandatory reports filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, Coleman and his wife, Peggy, gave the campaign $10,000 with Biloxi retiree Roye Green listed as the largest contributor for the period at $2,500.
The June reports were due by 5 p.m. Friday for all judicial candidates who still are raising campaign funds. Some candidates without opponents have notified the agency that they terminated fundraising and spending.
A database search at the agency, after the deadline, showed reports not available for four other candidates in contested races – incumbents Chancellor Edwin H. Roberts Jr. and Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk, Roberts’ opponent Helen Kennedy Robinson and David Rozier, running for the Lackey seat.
Jimmy Maxwell, unopposed in his first election to the Court of Appeals, reports that he’d raised more than $30,000.
And while Tupelo attorney Frank Liebling reported no contributions in June, his report still shows the $53,000 cash on hand from a donation made by Lucille Liebling, whose address is the same as his.
The next report is due Oct. 10 to cover the period July 1 through Sept. 30.
The election for judges, in which candidates run without political party affiliations, will be on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Races run from Mississippi Supreme Court to circuit and chancery seats. Statewide elections are in 2011.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.