Justice Jim Kitchens the right candidate

Published 5:54 pm Saturday, October 29, 2016

You may have seen the disgusting attack ads against my father, Justice Jim Kitchens. The ads are paid for by Washington corporate interests trying to buy a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court. They know Jim Kitchens isn’t for sale, so their secret donors are spending over $100,000 a week telling lies about him on TV.

The truth is that the entire Mississippi Supreme Court later agreed with Dad on the Wilson case. In the Jordan case, Dad joined an opinion written by Justice David Chandler, who is now in charge of Mississippi’s foster child system. Neither Dad, nor any of these other justices, sided with child predators. Instead, they did their job and followed the law.

Dad’s opponent, Judge Kenny Griffis, refuses to condemn the ads. He’s even defended them. But what if the smear campaign was aimed at him? In one of his cases, State v. Campbell, Judge Griffis overturned the conviction of a man who sexually assaulted his foster child. The Supreme Court, including Justice Kitchens, unanimously reversed that decision and reinstated the conviction. Judge Griffis knows how unfair and hurtful it would be to attack him on TV with the Campbell case, or with any opinion cherry-picked from his voting record.

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It’s hard to express how hurtful these ads have been for my family. All of my father’s commercials have been positive, including one featuring his grandchildren, who watch TV constantly hoping to see “their” commercial. Instead, they’re seeing nasty ads claiming their granddaddy sides with child predators. I’m proud that my father, Justice Jim Kitchens, has and will continue to run a clean campaign. You won’t see him running negative ads or defending dark-money groups. He has too much integrity for that.

Dan Kitchens

Crystal Springs