Supreme Court appoints members of Judicial Election Oversight Committee

December 9, 2021

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently appointed nine members of the Judicial Election Oversight Committee.

The Committee is charged “to enforce the standards of judicial conduct in judicial elections and provide an accessible forum for advisory opinions in judicial elections. The Oversight Committee shall have the responsibility to issue advisory opinions as to allegations of ethical misconduct in campaigns for judicial office. The Oversight Committee shall be responsible for elections of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, chancery court, circuit court or county court judges in this state,” all selected in non-partisan elections.

The order reads: “The objective of the Oversight Committee is to alleviate unethical or unfair campaign practices in judicial elections and to provide assistance and direction to judicial candidates and their campaign committees.”

Judicial elections for all chancery court, circuit court and county court judges are scheduled for Nov.8, 2022. Elections for four seats on the Mississippi Court of Appeals also are scheduled for Nov. 8. The qualifying period for judicial candidates opens Jan.3, 2022. The qualifying deadline is Feb. 1, 2022.

Each Justice appointed a member to the Judicial Election Oversight Committee. Terms are staggered. Serving four-year terms are:

• Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Jack L. Wilson of Madison, appointed by Justice T. Kenneth Griffis Jr.;
• Attorney James H. Heidelberg of Pascagoula, appointed by Justice David M. Ishee;
• Attorney David F. Delgado of Southaven, appointed by Justice Robert P. Chamberlin.

Those appointed to three-year terms are:

• Attorney LaToya T. Jeter of Jackson, appointed by Presiding Justice Leslie D. King;
• Retired Chancellor M. Ronald Doleac of Hattiesburg, appointed by Justice Dawn H. Beam;
• Attorney James L. Weir of Tupelo, appointed by Justice James D. Maxwell II.

Those appointed to two-year terms are:

• Retired Chancellor Edward T. Patten Jr. of Hazlehurst, appointed by Presiding Justice James W. Kitchens;
• Attorney Paul P. Blake of Ridgeland, appointed by Chief Justice Mike Randolph;
• Attorney Thomas A. Wicker of Tupelo, appointed by Justice Josiah D. Coleman.