• 64°

Patten locks chancery; seeks appellate position

Incumbent Chancery Court District 15 Judge Ed Patten ofHazlehurst is unopposed in his bid for re-election, but will facesome opposition in a race to claim a vacancy on the Court ofAppeals.

“I really appreciate that I’m unopposed in my chancery race, andI think that affirms the support I have in the legal community andfrom my constituents,” Patten said.

The lack of opposition in his chancery race means Patten canconcentrate on his campaign for a higher office. The chancery courtjudge has also qualified to seek the post of Court of AppealsDistrict 4 Position 1.

The deadline for candidates seeking judicial posts for circuit,chancery and county courts and the Court of Appeals to qualify forthe Nov. 7 general election was Friday. A run-off election will beheld Nov. 21, if necessary.

Mississippi judicial elections are nonpartisan.

Patten said he is seeking the appellate judge position becauseincumbent Appellate Judge Leslie Southwick has decided not to seekre-election.

“Leslie has done an outstanding job,” Patten said. “There aresome really good judges on the appellate court, but I really feelthere is a need for more trial judges on that court.”

Incumbent Chancery Court District 13 Place 1 Judge LarryBuffington, of Collins, is unopposed for that position. However,Buffington has also qualified to challenge for the appellateposition.

Also in Chancery Court District 13, Monticello attorney Joe DaleWalker and Deborah Kennedy, of Mize, have qualified to seek thenewly-created Place 2 post.

Patten said he believes his experience as a chancery judge forthe past eight years and his trial experience would benefit theappellate court.

“I really feel at this time there is a need for more trial input… to provide balance and a different perspective on rulings theymake at that level,” Patten said.

He will face seven opponents for that position, includingBuffington and State Rep. Virginia Carlson of Columbia. Also on theballot are Bryant Chaffin of Hattiesburg, Pat J. McNamara Jr. ofJackson, Richard Grindstaff of Byram and Scott Phillips ofColumbia.

The Court of Appeals District 4 includes, in whole or in part,15 counties, including Adams, Amite, Copiah, Covington, Franklin,Hinds, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pike,Simpson, Walthall and Wilkerson.

Should Patten win the appelate judge race, an appointment wouldbe made and a special election would be scheduled for the chanceryrace at a later date.

Appeals Court judge serve eight-year terms. Chancery judgesserve four-year terms.