Judge Lackey to retire…

Alyssa Schnugg has a story about the judicial races in today’s Eagle. In sum: Judge Lackey’s retirement is setting off a shuffle among the seats. There is one seat that’s “at large”– judges can come from any of the counties in the district (Tippah, Benton, Marshall, Union, Lafayette, Calhoun, Chickasaw), and two seats, one of which the candidates can come from the northern tier, and the other the Southern. Judge Lackey has held the southern seat, and Judge Howorth will qualify for that. Judge Elliott holds the northern seat, and so that opens the district-wide seat. Voters in the whole district vote for all judges, and the judges serve the whole district.

So far, Tom Levidiotis has qualified for the open seat, after losing or leaving his position as assistant district attorney. I’ve heard rumblings about two other possible candidates, but nothing concrete enough to repeat here.

Here’s the Eagle story. Their website isn’t working; when it comes back up I’ll provide a permalink:

While the deadline to qualify for judicial seats in the circuit and chancery courts is not until May 7, 2010, several area judges — and a few attorneys — have already tossed their hats into the ring, and one judge has announced his plans to retire at the end of his term in December 2010.

Local voters will decide who will get a judicial seat in the 3rd District Circuit Court, which covers seven counties, including Lafayette, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties. Currently there are three seats for the 3rd Circuit.

Each “place” determines where a candidate for a judgeship must live in order to run for that seat. Circuit judges wishing to run for Place No. 1, must live in Lafayette, Union or Calhoun counties. Place No. 2 candidates must live in either Benton, Chickasaw, Tippah or Marshall counties. Place No. 3 is at-large, so a candidate can live in any of the seven counties in the district to run for that seat. The Place No. 3 seat is currently held by Circuit Judge Andrew Howorth.

Circuit Judge Henry Lackey currently holds Place No. 1 and Circuit Judge Robert Elliot holds place No. 2.

During a Christmas party last week, Lackey announced he would not be seeking re-election in November 2010, Court Administrator Monette Gann said.

“He is retiring,” she said.

NMC
12/24/9