Two drop out of justice court judge race

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two candidates for justice court judge in Warren County’s city-based central district have exited the race, winnowing the field of aspirants in the Nov. 2 race from nine to seven.

LeVern W. Powell, an administrator at Cedars Head Start, said this morning she is quitting her campaign for personal reasons. Earlier this week, the Warren County Election Commission determined Jim Hankins, an apartment manager who entered the race on the final day of qualifying, fell short of the required 150 signatures of registered voters in the district on his petition for candidacy.

The developments leave seven to campaign actively for the job — incumbent judge and funeral director James E. Jefferson Jr., Vicksburg Police Sgt. Beverly Prentiss, retired police Lt. Dora Smith, former constable Rudolph Walker, former U.S. Navy officer Henry Phillips and NRoute operations manager Audrey Jones Jackson. Lester R. Smith, jailed in August on sexual battery and felony escape charges, also is a candidate.

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The general election ballot in Warren County is headlined by the congressional race in Mississippi’s 2nd District between Democrat U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and Republican challenger Bill Marcy. Reform Party candidate Ashley Norwood of Canton also will appear on the ballot.

So far, races in District 1 and District 5 for seats on the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees feature incumbent District 1 Trustee Jerry Boland and challenger Bryan Pratt, and Sally Bullard in District 5. Qualifying for the school board races ends Friday, and the deadline to register to vote is Saturday.

Another judicial race on the ballot is for the state Court of Appeals in District 2, where Vicksburg attorney Ceola James is challenging incumbent Tyree Irving. Warren is one of among 24 counties deciding the winner in that race.