- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed a new district attorney for seven counties in northeast Mississippi.

John Weddle of Tupelo will serve the final few months of a term started by fellow Republican Trent Kelly, who was elected this week to the U.S. House.

Bryant announced Weddle’s appointment Friday.

“He is a tough and experienced prosecutor who has a demonstrated history of serving the region with integrity, and I am confident he will continue to dedicate himself to the people of north Mississippi,” Bryant said.

Weddle is currently an assistant district attorney under Kelly in Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss and Tishomingo counties. Weddle will serve until January, and had already qualified to run for district attorney this year.

Two Democrats - Arch Bullard and Paul Gault - also qualified to run for district attorney in the seven counties of District 1. Party primaries are Aug. 4, and the general election is Nov. 3.

Weddle was Lee County public defender from 1998 to 2002 and Tupelo municipal judge from 2002 through 2011. He has practiced law for more than 20 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi.

“I take the trust the public places in me to prosecute crime and protect public safety very seriously, and I pledge to work hard on behalf of the people of this district,” Kelly said in Friday in a news release from the governor’s office.

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