7 Mississipi appellate judges will run for reelection in November

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

All Mississippi appeals court judges up for reelection in 2024 plan to seek another term on the state’s highest two courts.

Four justices on the state Supreme Court and three on the state Court of Appeals intend to qualify for a new eight-year term.

These judges are:

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Mississippi Supreme Court

• Jim Kitchens (Central District)

• Dawn Beam (Southern District)

• Robert Chamberlin (Northern District)

• James Maxwell (Northern District)

Mississippi Court of Appeals

• Latrice Westbrooks (District 2)

• Jack Wilson (District 3)

• Joel Smith (District 5)

The qualifying period for these offices is Jan. 2- Feb. 1. Judicial offices are non-partisan, so there are no party primaries. All will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

To run for either of the two courts, a candidate must be at least 30 years old, a qualified elector in their respective district, a licensed attorney and a state citizen for at least five years, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Judges on Mississippi’s two highest courts do not run at-large. Instead voters from their respective districts elect them.

The nine members of the Supreme Court are elected from three districts: northern, central and southern. The 10 members of the Court of Appeals are each elected from five districts across the state.

The judges are elected in staggered terms, so not all 19 seats of the two courts are up for election each cycle.

The two courts hear appeals from chancery and circuit courts across the state. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort, meaning its orders cannot be appealed to another state court.

Lincoln County voters

The only state-level justice the voters of Lincoln County will cast a ballot for or against is Supreme Court Southern District Place 2 Justice Dawn Beam. Beam was appointed in 2015 by Gov. Phil Bryant to succeed Randy Pierce, who resigned. Beam was elected to a full eight-year term in November 2016.

The Southern Court District 2 includes the following counties: Adams, Amite, Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Wayne, and Wilkinson.

Taylor Vance of Mississippi Today contributed to this article.