JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A political forum at the Latimer Civic Center Wednesday night drew a crowd of 50 plus to watch contestants in three races: the Fourth Congressional District race; chancery judgeships in District 16; and the headliner event, the Jackson County Sheriff's race.
The Jackson County Sheriff's race drew all six candidates, five men and one woman spoke. The program began at 7 p.m.; each candidate was allowed five minutes to speak.
Interest for the sheriff's race increased when Charles Britt, appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy created by the felony conviction of former Sheriff Mike Byrd, pulled out of the race leaving the field wide open. Candidates are Jeff Barnes, Bob Cochran, Mike Ezell, Bruce Lynd, Scott McIlrath and Shelia Smallman.
They talked about their experience and the need to clean up the image of the sheriff's department that has been rocked by controversy.
Additionally, all four challengers for incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Palazzo's seat explained their political views. Candidates attending were democrat Matt Moore, libertarian Joey Robinson, reform party Eli Jackson, and independent Ed Reich. The Fourth Congressional District encompasses 14 counties in South Mississippi.
Also attending were candidates for Chancery Court District 16, including incumbent Neil Harris, Paula Yancy, and Gary Roberts. District 16 includes Jackson, George and Greene counties. Another race will fill the vacancy of retiring judge Chuck Bordis. Two attorneys are seeking that office. The candidates all talked about their legal backgrounds, but not about political views.