- Associated Press - Monday, November 24, 2014

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Voters in seven Northeast Mississippi counties will choose a new circuit judge Tuesday in a runoff between Holly Springs attorney Shirley Byers and Assistant District Attorney J. Kelly Luther of Tippah County.

The two led a three-person ticket in the Nov. 4 nonpartisan election in Circuit Court District 3, which includes Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1zjHB0R) the winner will replace Judge Robert W. Elliott of Ripley, who will retire at the end of the year. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The other two circuit judges in the district, Andrew K. Howorth of Oxford and John A. Gregory of Okolona, were unopposed for re-election.

Circuit Courts hear felony criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits. They also hear appeals from county, justice and municipal courts and from administrative boards and commissions such as the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Byers, a Holly Springs native, is a graduate of Holly Springs public schools and earned an undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College and master’s and law degrees from the University of Mississippi.

She served as a circuit judge in District 3, composed of Washington, Leflore and Sunflower counties in the Delta in the 1990s, and was defeated for re-election. She later moved back to Holly Springs and ran unsuccessfully for the District 3 judgeship in 2006.

Luther is a native of Pontotoc but moved to the Shady Grove community of Tippah County and now prosecutes mostly in Tippah, Union and Benton counties in the seven-county district.

In addition to Pontotoc public schools, he attended Itawamba Junior College and Mississippi State University. He earned business and law degrees from the University of Mississippi.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com


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