Flip Phillips 11-9-12

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 9, 2012

Phillips proud ran positive campaign

By Billy Davis

Batesville attorney Richard “Flip” Phillips complimented his supporters for running a positive campaign in his unsuccessful bid to win a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Oxford attorney Josiah Coleman, 40, won the District 3 seat that was up for grabs after Justice George C. Carlson Jr., also from Batesville, announced his retirement.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Phillips, 65, said his base of Panola County supporters operated the campaign with “integrity and respect,” which he said are qualities the county is known for around the state.

Coleman won the Supreme Court seat 58-42 percent over Phillips, though the Batesville attorney won his home county 68-31 over his opponent.

The vote count was 208,701 for Coleman and 148,280 for Phillips according to returns compiled by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Phillips out-raised Coleman in campaign contributions. Phillips enjoyed strong support among attorneys while Coleman was supported by business groups, according to press reports.

The Panolian has reported that TV attack ads portrayed Phillips as a greedy “trial lawyer,” and dogged his campaign late in the contest.

“Misleading advertising and campaigns don’t have a place in a judicial race,” Phillips observed to the Daily Journal before Election Day, noting his experience as a prosecutor and representing local government.

After the election, Phillips declined to talk about the political ads, saying only that his campaign “always accentuated the positive.”

The attorney also said the current members on the Supreme Court represent a strong base of varied experience, and said the court is losing the valuable experience of Carlson, a former circuit judge.
Phillips said he hopes that Coleman’s age and background will contribute to the court.

“It was really heartwarming and humbling to meet so many fine people from every walk of life,” he said of the campaign.