If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
WATER VALLEY – A bill adopted by state lawmakers during the 2020 Legislative Session will remove Desoto County from the 17th Circuit Court District, triggering a special election for district attorney (DA) in November.
This restructuring takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and will create a new 23rd Circuit Court District for Desoto County. The 17th Circuit Court District will shrink to the four remaining counties – Panola, Tate, Tallahatchie, and Yalobusha. The change provides simplicity as the cumbersome structure of the 17th Circuit Court District is currently composed of two subdistricts, with the four counties grouped together and Desoto County encompassing the second subdistrict. Currently two circuit judges are elected in the four-county area, one is elected in Desoto County and a fourth judge is elected from all five counties. With the change, two judges will be elected from each district.
According to the language in 2020 bill, HB 1490, current DA John Champion will shift to the newly created 23rd Circuit Court District at the start of 2023, creating the vacancy in the 17th Circuit Court District.
The Mississippi Secretary of State’s website reports one candidate, Assistant United States Attorney Jay Hale, has qualified to run for DA in the special election. Hale previously served as an assistant DA for the 17th Circuit Court District.
The qualifying period in the special election extends from Jan. 1 to Sept. 8, 2021. The election date is November 8 and a runoff, if necessary, will follow on Nov. 29. The winner of the special election will serve the remaining year of the four-year term that runs from 2020 to 2023.
Other elections on the November ballot include:
- The two circuit judge positions in the 17th Circuit Court District, Position One and Position Two. Incumbent judge Smith Murphey has qualified in Position One and incumbent judge Jimmy McClure has qualified in Position Two.
- Two chancery judge positions in the 3rd Chancery District. Incumbent Chancellor Vicki B. Daniels has qualified in District for Position 1 and incumbent Chancellor Mitchell M. Lundy, Jr. has qualified for Position 3.
- The race in the Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- The special election for sheriff in Yalobusha County.