Unopposed judge holds more funds than others

Seven Northeast Mississippi races for judges are contested this fall – one for Court of Appeals, one chancery and five for circuit judge.
But the candidate who’s raised the most money since Jan. 1 is Court of Appeals Judge Jimmy Maxwell of Oxford, who has no opponent. He’s raised nearly $29,000.
Mississippi judge candidates run without political party labels, and the races will be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
Although attorneys may be some of the campaign donors most interested in judicial races, the region’s contributors run the spectrum from homemakers and doctors to bankers and businesspeople.
In Maxwell’s coffers, for example, he lists 44 donations with 17 from attorneys.
His largest donors at $1,000 each are Keith Heard, a partner in a Maryland business; Citizens for Cochran of Tupelo; Renasant Bank Employees Voluntary PAC of Tupelo; McCraney Montagnet & Quin, Ridgeland attorneys; Farese Farese & Farese, Ashland attorneys; and R.H. Dunlap, a Batesville businessman.
Maxwell’s fellow COA judge, Donna Barnes, has opposition from Kelly Mims. They both are from Tupelo.
In the Barnes-Mims race, Mims has 13 attorney contributors out of 18 donors compared with Barnes’ six attorney-supporters out of 22 donors.
Each made contributions to his/her own race – Mims with $5,100 and Barnes with $5,000.
Among Barnes’ top donors are $5,000 from the Mississippi Physicians PAC, $2,500 from BankPlus PAC, and $1,000 each from Gov. Haley Barbour’s Haley PAC and Renasant Employees’ PAC.
Mims’ largest donations include $1,000 each from Peoples Finance; Louis Cervantes of Pontotoc, owner of Peoples Finance; Eric Hampton, Tupelo businessman; and Harry Sumner, Tupelo attorney.
Barnes raised $20,450 since January, compared to Mims’ $14,755. But their on-hand cash is very close with Barnes at $8,148 and Mims at $7,912.
In perhaps the region’s hottest circuit judge race – to replace Henry Lackey, who is retiring from District 3, Place 3 – newcomer Dave Rozier leads the three-way pack with $28,755 in donations, including a $25,250 personal loan, and $26,441 on hand. Competitors Tom Levidiotis and John Gregory report receipts, although Gregory borrowed and spent all his $7,000. Levidiotis raised $9,048 and still has $7,693.
Rozier’s top contributor is Robbie Hayes, Southaven attorney, $1,000.
Levidiotis’ top givers are doctors Phillip Loria for $2,500 and Cooper McIntosh, $1,000. The rest of his donors are a mix of attorneys and other professionals and businesspeople.
In the south part of the region, incumbent Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens faces William Starks, who reports $9,000 in donations and nearly all of it on hand. Starks’ treasury comes from six donors and four large gifts – $1,000 from attorney R. Gawyn Mitchell, $2,000 from attorney William Cunningham, $2,500 from Carla Dannette Starks and $1,000 from himself.
Kitchens’ report shows he hasn’t raised any money, spent $242 and has $436.53 cash on hand.
Most incumbents without an opponent report raising and spending no money, as indicated by required reports with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. Some even closed out their campaign organizations, which indicates they don’t intend to raise any more money.
One exception is “Jim” Seth Pounds of Booneville, an unopposed incumbent circuit judge, who reports raising $4,850 this year. His report notes that his campaign committee still owes him $32,079, which means he’s likely to continue seeking donations to help with that debt.
The judicial candidates’ next required campaign finance report is due June 10 for activity from May 1-31. Until a candidate officially ends the campaign, these reports are due, even if no money is raised or spent.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

2010 FIRST REPORTING PERIOD (1/1-4/30/10)
BY THE NUMBERS:
(i) = incumbent
STATE COURT OF APPEALS – PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Jimmy Maxwell (i) $28,870 $1,608.61 $27,261.39
STATE COURT OF APPEALS – PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Donna Barnes (i) $20,450 $12,301.80 $8,148.20
Kelly Mims $14,775 $6,863 $7,912
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
John Hatcher (i) $0 $539.80 $3,439.90
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Mike Malski (i) $0 $0 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 3
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Jacqueline Mask (i) $0 $200 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 4
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Talmadge Littlejohn (i) $0 $0 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 14, PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Kenneth Burns (i) $0 $0 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 14, PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Jim Davidson $0 $0 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 14, PLACE 3
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Dorothy Colom (i) $0 $0 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 18, PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Glenn Alderson $0 $100 $0
CHANCERY JUDGE – DISTRICT 18, PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Edwin Roberts Jr. (i) $0 $0 $0
Helen Robinson $0 $0 $0
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
“Jim” Seth Pounds (i) $4,850 $181.35 $4,908.65
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Paul Funderburk (i) $0 $0 $0
Frank Liebling No report filed as of Friday
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 3
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Thomas Gardner (i) $0 $0 $0
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 4
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
James Roberts (i) $0 $0 $0
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 3, PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Andrew Howorth $0 $0 $0
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Shirley Byers $0 $0 $0
Robert Elliott (i) $0 $0 $0
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 1, PLACE 3
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Tom Levidiotis $9,048 $1,354.06 $7,693.94
John Gregory $7,000 $7,000 $0
Dave Rozier $28,755 $2,313.12 $26,441.88
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 16, PLACE 1
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Jim Kitchens (i) $0 $0 $436.53
William Starks $9,000 $270.93 $8,729.07
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 16, PLACE 2
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Lee Howard (i) $0 $0 $0
CIRCUIT JUDGE – DISTRICT 16, PLACE 3
CANDIDATE CONTRIBUTIONS EXPENSES CASH ON HAND
Lee Coleman (i) $0 $0 $0
Bob Marshall $0 $0 $0
Nebra Porter $0 $0 $0
*SOURCE: Miss. Secretary of State’s Office, www.sos.ms.gov

Patsy R. Brumfield