Judge races

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 5, 2010

One judge’s race moves to runoff; Murphey wins seat

By David Howell and Billy Davis

Assistant District Attorney Smith Murphey won a four-person race for a circuit court judge’s seat Tuesday, avoiding a November 23 runoff.

A second judicial race meanwhile, for a newly created circuit court seat, has moved to a runoff.

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Murphey and three other candidates, Rhonda Amis, Adam Pittman and William Sanders Jr., were seeking a seat being vacated by retiring longtime judge Andrew C. Baker.

Murphey outpolled all others to win a majority in Panola, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha and Tate counties.

Amis, who is also an assistant district attorney, followed second in three of four counties.

Murphey told The Panolian he led district-wide by 6,908 votes, citing returns that are unofficial.   

Official Panola returns showed Murphey won the county with 5,349 votes, followed by Rhonda Mason Amis with 3,563. Adam Pittman followed in the District 17-2, Place 1 polling with 1,753 followed by William Sanders Jr. with 866. .

Unofficial Tate County totals were 3,580 for Murphey; 1,444 for Amis; 542 for Pittman and 547 for Sanders.

In Tallahatchie County, Murphey received 1,576 votes; Amis 421; Pittman 150 and Sanders 1,004.

In Yalobusha County, Murphey received 2,450; Sanders received 725; Amis 563 and Pittman 256.

In the race for Circuit Judge, District 17, Place 4, Gerald Chatham Sr. and Robert S. “Stan” Little are moving to the November 23 runoff.

Chatham carried Desoto, Tate and Tallahatchie counties, giving him the most votes in this election. Burns carried Yalobusha County while Little carried Panola County.

Little led the Panola County vote with 4,510 followed by Chatham with 3,537.

A?third candidate, David Burns, polled 2,576 votes in Panola County. “Place Four” is a newly created judge’s post.

In Tate County, Little received 1,758 votes, Chatham 2,920 and Burns 1,274.

In Tallahatchie County, Little received 1,535; Chatham 799 and Burns 622. In Yalobusha County, Little received 749 votes; Chatham 737 and Burns 2,374.

The newly created judge’s post also encompasses Desoto County, where Chatham received 14,095 votes compared to Little’s 10,725 votes, according to unofficial results late Tuesday night.

In other judicial races, incumbent Donna M. Barnes won 3,682 Panola votes in her bid seeking re-elections as Appeals Court Judge, District 1, Position 2. She won re-election in the district.

Challenger Kelly L. Mims polled 2,417 Panola votes. The district includes the southern portion of Panola County.

For Appeals Court Judge, District 2, Position 1, incumbent Tyree Irving garnered 2,243 votes in Panola County versus 1,013 for his challenger, Ceola James. District 2 serves the north part of Panola County.