Meet your Lincoln County candidates: Justice Court Judge Post 1

Published 7:55 pm Sunday, May 21, 2023

Each Lincoln County candidate who will appear on the Aug. 8 Primary Election ballot has been contacted by The Daily Leader and asked to reply to a questionnaire.

The same set of questions was sent to each candidate, even those who are running unopposed.

The responses are offered in no particular order, and no candidate had the opportunity to see any other candidate’s answers prior to submitting their own. No edits were made for content.

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Each week, we will present responses from two candidates, along with reminders of who their opponents are.

This week we present the responses from the two candidates for Lincoln County Justice Court Judge Post 1.

Incumbent Judge Ian Smith is running for reelection. He will face challenger Shelley Harrigill Barron in the Republican primary, where this race will be decided.

Previous articles can be found at

Responses from Smith and Barron are as follows:


Ian Smith, Justice Court Judge Post 1

My name is Ian Smith and I am running for re-election for Lincoln County Justice Court Judge Post 1. I was born and raised in Lincoln County and am proud to call it home. My family and I reside in the West Lincoln Community. My wife of 15 years, Brandi, our two children, Paisley and Owen, and myself, are active members of Calvary Baptist Church. I graduated from West Lincoln, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Federal Bureau of Prisons Training Academy, Southern Regional Public Safety Institute, and the Mississippi Judicial College. I served the citizens of Lincoln County for 10 years while working with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to that, I worked five years for the Federal Prison System.

During my time on the bench, I have heard numerous criminal cases from speeding tickets to murder, and civil cases from unpaid debt to residential evictions. I’ve sent numerous citizens to drug and alcohol rehab, anger management courses, and strive daily to discover new avenues of rehabilitation for offenders, all of which are at no cost to the taxpayers of Lincoln County. I strive to maintain setting the tone of being fair, firm, and consistent with each case that comes before me, without prejudice nor favor. I feel I’ve done right by the decisions I’ve made, both for individuals and Lincoln County as a whole.

Transparency and accountability are two very important characteristics of a court room. While court actions are not advertised publicly, our court room is open to the public during any and all court sessions.

In the Judiciary, Justice Court is known as the “people’s court.” After serving the citizens of Lincoln County in the various positions I have, I feel I am the best candidate. It would be my honor to continue to serve as your Justice Court Judge Post 1. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Shelley Harrigill Barron, Justice Court Judge Post 1

Barron lives in Lincoln County and is a self-employed attorney, licensed since 2004 in the State of Mississippi.


What is your assessment of the previous or current occupant of this office, and if  elected would you keep it in the same direction or change course?

I have great respect for the judicial system and those who have held the office until now, as well as for law enforcement who provide the supportive role necessary to make the system work and I recognize it is a team effort for all those involved, and think it should remain that way. The work of a Justice Court Judge is a cooperative one that involves many moving parts and joint efforts of those whose mutual job it is to prepare cases and impart justice to those residents of Lincoln County who are victims of crimes or who on the civil side have had to avail themselves of the judicial system in Lincoln County.


How would you address transparency and accountability of this office?

I will strive to work cooperatively with my counterpart in the office so we can be as informed as possible about things that concern the Justice Court Judges in Post One and Two. As arbiters of the law in Lincoln County I will stress the importance of each Justice Court Judge remaining in close communication with each other and maintaining positive working relationships with our support staff that are in the office every day performing the work of interacting with the public on our behalf and receiving the initial filings in both the civil and criminal cases. The goal of transparency and accountability becomes an easy one when both Judges are striving to work together ensuring that their staff is treated with respect and all remain on the same page procedurally in the manner of handling each case from its initial filing to its ultimate conclusion. It can never hurt for the Justice Court Judges to be on the same page with each other and our staff for the sake of everyone involved in the judicial system at the Justice Court Level for benefit of all of the citizens of Lincoln County knowing that each case filed is held to the same standard and treated with the same level of respect.


What are the most pressing issues in this office and how would you address them?

The most important part of the office is being supportive of those who work full-time in performing their job of putting the cases together for us and presenting them to the Court when scheduled, and to the fullest extent possible that we can work cooperatively with those involved the process of presenting the cases who play the very important role of advocating for those who find themselves involved in the Lincoln County judicial system, whether it be civilly or criminally, and to do so in as transparent and accessible a way as possible.


How would your role in this office improve Brookhaven and Lincoln County?

As a licensed attorney for almost 20 years I have a special appreciation for presenting cases before Judges and the rules of civil procedure that govern the process of the cases that will be presented to me as a presiding Judge if I were to be elected to serve in that capacity.


What are your reasons for seeking this office and why should voters elect you?

I feel privileged to have practiced law as an attorney in this County for my entire legal career and would be honored to be considered for the office of Justice Court Judge Post One. I have presented cases before Judges as a lawyer and worked as a Staff Attorney for Judges, primarily in the Chancery Court system, and understand the dynamics of the cases that will come before me and feel prepared to preside over both civil and criminal cases in the Lincoln County Justice Court System should I be selected to serve in the capacity as Justice Court Judge for Post One.


Please share any family, personal information you’d like to include. 

I am presently married to Chad Barron, and am the daughter of Donald and Hilda Harrigill.