State high court race takes political tone

Challenger Court of Appeals Judge Kenneth “Kenny” Griffis, in his attempt to unseat state Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens, has raised more than $176,000 so far compared to Kitchens’ $108,000 in what is expected to be a highly watched contest.

Of the $176,571 collected by Griffis’ campaign, $31,043 has been spent. Meanwhile, Kitchens, of Crystal Springs, who is completing his first eight-year term, has raised $108,245 and spent $65,886, according to the latest campaign finance report, filed June 10 with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.

Although judicial races are nonpartisan, Republicans Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves are apparently supporting Griffis. A notice was sent out about a fundraiser in April hosted by Bryant. Then in May, a reception was held for Griffis listing Reeves as the special guest. Bryant spokesman Knox Graham said Wednesday Bryant is indeed supporting Griffis.

Reeves’ spokeswoman Laura Hipp said Reeves being at the event speaks for itself.

Clarion Ledger
6/17/16