- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Two circuit judges and two private-practice attorneys are competing in a state Supreme Court race in northern Mississippi.

If nobody receives a majority in the Nov. 8 election, the top two will advance to a Nov. 29 runoff.

This is an open seat because current Justice Ann Lamar of Senatobia is not seeking another eight-year term.

The candidates are attorney John Brady of Columbus, Circuit Judge Bobby Chamberlin of Hernando, attorney Steve Crampton of Tupelo, and Circuit Judge James T. “Jim” Kitchens of Caledonia.

The district includes 33 counties, from the Tennessee state line down to the center of the state: Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Coahoma, DeSoto, Grenada, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Webster, Winston and Yalobusha.


According to candidates’ latest campaign finance reports, which cover January through September, Brady has raised the most money, followed by Chamberlin, Kitchens and Crampton.

Brady’s campaign collected $179,284 and spent $106,858 from January through September. Although judicial candidates run without party labels, Brady has been endorsed by Republican former Gov. Haley Barbour.

Brady defends businesses and other clients in civil lawsuits and is a past president of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association.


Chamberlin served as a Republican in the Mississippi Senate from early 2000 until late 2004, and left when Gov. Barbour appointed him to fill a circuit judgeship for DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties.

Chamberlin’s campaign has raised $68,636 and spent $6,094.

Chamberlin is a former chairman of the Mississippi Conference of Circuit Judges, and he co-founded a drug court in his circuit district.


Crampton has been an attorney for Christian legal groups including Liberty Counsel and the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy.

He represented the sponsor of a “personhood” initiative that sought to amend the Mississippi Constitution to define life as beginning at conception. Voters defeated the amendment in the November 2011 election.

Crampton’s Supreme Court campaign has raised $30,635 and spent $20,920.


Kitchens has been a circuit judge since 2003 in a district covering Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties. He is a former assistant district attorney.

His Supreme Court campaign has raised $45,751 and spent $30,313.

Kitchens is not related to current Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens of Crystal Springs, who is seeking re-election in the central district.

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