AUTHOR: MOULDE

HED:Lee County judge unopposed; races build for other posts

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

Lee County Court Judge James Floyd remains the lone candidate for a second term in the post as the qualifying deadline nears for state, district and county judicial elections.

Floyd has held the job, which carries with it the duties of juvenile court judge, since 1995. Lee County is the only Northeast Mississippi county that has a county court judge.

The deadline for qualifying for the county seat is 5 p.m. Friday at the Lee Court Circuit Clerk's office.

Three new qualifiers have emerged in the past week for other area judicial posts.

Circuit court

Pontotoc attorney Gene Barton has joined the 1st District Circuit Court race where he will seek to oust one of the three incumbents.

Previously qualifying were Circuit Judges Frank Russell and Thomas Gardner, both of Tupelo, and Barry Ford of Pontotoc.

Don Grist, incumbent 18th District Circuit Court judge, also has qualified for re-election. He faces three newcomers who are seeking the two seats available.

The others qualifying for the race were Fred Belk of Holly Springs, and Norman Gillespie and Glenn Alderson, both of Oxford.

The two races are at-large contests with the highest vote-getters claiming the available seats.

Eupora attorney Buchanan Meek qualified for the Subdistrict 1 seat in the 14th Chancery Court District. His entry brings to four the number of hopefuls vying for the bench being vacated by Chancellor Woodrow Brand.

The other three qualifiers are James Hood of Houston, Dolton McAlpin of Starkville, and Cecil Simmons of Maben.

Contestants in judicial races don't declare political party affiliations.

Qualifying for district and state seats also ends at 5 p.m. Friday and candidates must qualify through the Secretary of State's office.

The elections will be Nov. 3.

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