Voters will decide Aug. 7 in the Democratic primary whether Peterson keeps her job. No Republican or independent entered the race, so the winner of the Democratic contest will assume the post in January.
Peterson and Melton have had a strained relationship since he took office in 2005. They were at odds over prosecution of some criminal cases filed by Melton when he was director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
In September 2006, Melton was indicted by a Hinds County grand jury on charges brought by the state attorney general’s office involving carrying a weapon on a college campus. He entered a plea agreement to misdemeanor charges in that case in November.