Spending hits $35,000 in Appeals Court race

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

More than $35,000 has been spent so far for the Mississippi Court of Appeals seat currently held by Tupelo’s Donna M. Barnes.
Her opponent, Kelly Mims of Tupelo, reports spending $10,800 so far compared with Barnes’ $25,742.
The two will face each other on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. Judicial candidates do not run under party labels.
Barnes leads the race’s fundraising with $28,050 versus Mims’ $18,425. But according to the latest financial reporting, Mims has $7,624 on hand versus Barnes’ $2,307.
The Court of Appeals race is just one of seven contested races for judge in Northeast Mississippi this year.
Other contests for seats on the bench, and their financial reports:
– Chancellor, District 18, Post 2 – Edwin H. Roberts Jr., incumbent, and Helen Kennedy Robinson, both of Oxford.
Roberts reports raising $1,000 in May with $859.20 on hand. Robinson loaned herself $1,442 and spent $442.
n Circuit Judge, District 1, Post 2 – Paul S. Funderburk, incumbent, and Frank Liebling, both of Tupelo.
Funderburk listed no contributions, while Liebling reported a $53,000 contribution from Lucille Liebling, whose address is the same as his home address in the phone directory.
– Circuit Judge, District 3, Post 2 – Robert W. Elliott, incumbent, of Ripley and Shirley C. Byers of Holly Springs.
Elliott’s report shows a $2,500 loan from The People’s Bank in Ripley for $2,546 cash on hand. Byers’ report was not posted on the Secretary of State’s website and she could not be reached for explanation.
– Circuit Judge, District 3, Post 3 – Tom Levidiotis of Oxford, John A. Gregory of Okolona and Dave Rozier of Oxford.
During May, Levidiotis reported raising $900 compared to Gregory’s $0 and Rozier’s $500. Rozier still has the most cash from a $25,000 self-loan, compared to Levidiotis with $4,990 and Gregory with $2,759.
– Circuit Judge, District 16, Post 1 – James T. “Jim” Kitchens, incumbent, of Caledonia, and William Starks, of Columbus.
Kitchens raised $4,500 for a cash total of $4,877, while Starks raised $399 and reports $1,849 in cash.
– Circuit Judge, District 16, Post 3 – Lee S. Coleman, Bob Marshall and Nebra Porter, all of West Point.
While Coleman and Marshall reported raising no money in May and no cash, Porter said she has $9.51 left after raising $315.
State law requires judicial candidates to make campaign financial reports to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. This one was due June 10, even if a campaign received no contributions or made no expenditures, unless the campaign declares its financial activities “terminated.”
Numerous incumbent judges, who are unopposed on the ballot, closed out their campaign activities with termination reports.
However, incumbent “Jim” Seth Pounds of Booneville still has a $28,000 campaign debt from his race four years ago and continues to raise money to pay it off. During May, he reported raising $950 and paying $4,000 on the loan.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.