Phillips looms large in money race

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

Batesville attorney Flip Phillips reports seven times more total campaign money than challenger Josiah Coleman in their race for Mississippi Supreme Court.
But Phillips, 64, of Batesville, reported he borrowed $50,250 of his $87,590 war chest.
It still leaves Coleman, 39, of Toccopola, behind about $75,000 with total campaign receipts of $11,902.
When it comes to cash on hand, Phillips reports he’s got the total $87,590 available, while Coleman says he’s spent all but $1,659.94 as of the May 10 date to report campaign finances to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.
Phillips and Coleman are the only qualifiers in the non-party race to replace Justice George Carlson of Batesville, who decided to retire after multiple terms on the state’s highest court. The seat is elected from the northern third of the state.
The election is Nov. 6.
The source of campaign donations less than $200 isn’t required to be reported.
Coleman, an attorney with Hickman Goza & Spragins PLLC of Oxford, reported three contributors – $5,000 each from BankPlus Political Action Committee and Mississippi Physicians PAC, and $1,000 from Heath Hall of Madison, a former aide to ex-Gov. Kirk Fordice.
He also reported paying $10,000 to Hall’s Strategic Marketing Group LLC for campaign consulting work.
Phillips’ finance report – which notes the $50,250 loan from BancorpSouth Bank – shows 17 contributions with top donations of $5,000 each from Michael Dunlap, Cyd Dunlap and R.H. Dunlap, all of Batesville, and Vick Etheridge of Corinth.
Among $1,000 contributors are R.B. Dossett Jr. and Bo Russell, both of Tupelo, and Fulton businessmen Johnny Crane and Larry E. Homan. Hattiesburg businessman Bobby L. Chain contributed $4,000 plus $1,000 from his Chainco Two LLC. Retired Iuka physician Kelly Segars Sr. gave the campaign $1,100.
Five Batesville businesses round out the rest of Phillips’ $1,000 contributors. Four list Frank West as president, and the fifth, First Security Bank, shows Carlson as an incorporator.
Phillips is a longtime corporate defense attorney and a partner in the firm Smith Phillips Mitchell Scott & Nowack LLP.
The next finance report is due June 8.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com