hed: Hatcher takes District 1, Place 1 Chancery Court race

read-in: Others elected; some returns incomplete

By Leesha Faulkner

Daily Journal

John A. Hatcher will become the newest chancellor in the District 1 chancery court judicial election.

In unofficial results, Hatcher took 11,386 votes or 55 percent of those cast Tuesday in the district. Phil Hinton received 9,384 votes or 45 percent. The District 1 consists of Alcorn, Prentiss, Tishomingo, Union, Pontotoc, Lee, Itawamba and Monroe counties. It is one of the new judgeships created by the state Legislature in 2005.

Hatcher, 57, has served as Marietta prosecutor for 16 years, Baldwyn prosecutor for 16 years and Farmington attorney and prosecutor for 16 years. He lives in Booneville. Hatcher joins incumbents Rodney E. Shands, Talmadge D. Littlejohn and Jacqueline Estes Mask.

The District 1 chancery race was one of four in Northeast Mississippi decided by voters in Tuesday's runoff.

Other unofficial results showed Ripley attorney Robert Elliott soundly defeating former Delta circuit judge and Holly Springs attorney Shirley C. Byers in the District 3, Place 2 Circuit Court judicial race. Elliott, 70, received 11, 904 votes or 66 percent of those cast. Byers, 52, received 6,002 votes or 34 percent.

Circuit Court District 3 consists of Marshall, Benton, Tippah, Union, Lafayette, Calhoun and Chickasaw counties. Place 2 was created by the 2005 Legislature to relieve the overcrowded docket. Elliott will join two other judges in the district, Andrew K. Howorth and Henry L. Lackey.

With all but five precincts counted in Circuit Court District 1, Place 1, assistant District Attorney Jim Pounds, 52, had 10,051 votes or 54 percent and John R. "Rusty" White, 43, a public defender, had garnered 8,678 votes or 46 percent.

District 1, Place 1 consists of Alcorn, Prentiss, Tishomingo, Lee, Itawamba and Monroe counties. It was created by the Legislature in 2005 to give assistance to three judges facing a crowded docket. Those judges are Thomas J. Gardner III, Sharion Aycock and Paul S. Funderburk.

In another incomplete judicial race for Chancery District 14, Subdistrict 2, Jim Davidson, 57, led in the vote tally with 3,608 votes or 70 percent. Robert L. Lancaster, the four-term incumbent, had 1,527 votes or 30 percent. Only 66 percent or 18 of 27 precincts had been counted.

Chancery District 14 consists of Chickasaw, Webster, Clay, Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Noxubee counties.

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