Qualifying ends for Supreme Court posts

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Richard “Flip” Phillips of Oxford and Josiah Dennis Coleman of Toccopola will battle to replace George C. Carlson, who is retiring from his position on the Mississippi Supreme Court representing the Northern District.
Friday was the deadline for attorneys to qualify with the Secretary of State’s office to run for posts on the nine-member Supreme Court and 10-member Court of Appeals.
The race to replace Carlson, a former Panola County Circuit Court judge, will be the only race in the state’s two highest courts where Northeast Mississippians will get an opportunity to vote this November.
Carlson was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to fill a vacancy and won election to the post in 2004.
Four of the Supreme Court seats will be up for election this year. In what may be the biggest surprise of the final day of qualifying, Earle S. Banks, a state House member from Jackson, has qualified to challenge Chief Jude William L. Waller Jr. for a Central District slot.
Incumbent Mike Randolph of the Southern District, who is from Hattiesburg, is being challenged by Talmadge Braddock, also of Hattiesburg.
Leslie King of Greenville, also of the Central District, is unopposed in his quest to maintain his Supreme Court seat.
For the Court of Appeals, incumbent E.J. Russell of Flora faces opposition from Latrice Westbrooks of Jackson and Ceola James of Vicksburg.
Gene Fair of Hattiesburg is running unopposed for a Court of Appeals post.
The election, which is nonpartisan, will be Nov. 6.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com