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Carlton is victor in Appeals Court runoff

State Rep. Virginia Carlton of Columbia was elected Tuesday to the Mississippi Court of Appeals in a runoff against Chancery Judge Ed Patten Jr., almost complete but unofficial returns showed.

Voters also decided runoffs in three special legislative races and several chancery and circuit races.

In the Chancery Court District 10, place 2 runoff, with all 134 precincts reporting, incumbent Sebe Dale Jr. handily held of challenger Ed Pittman with 13,459 votes, or 59 percent of the vote, to 9,460 votes, or 41 percent. In the place 4 race, Gene Fair garnered 14,668 votes, or 64 percent, to defeat Deborah Gambrell who received 8,175 votes, or 36 percent.

In the Circuit Court District 15, place 2 race with all 134 precincts reporting, Prentiss Harrell received 9,495 votes, or 54 percent, to Forest Dantin’s 8,090 votes, or 46 percent.

Carlton, a former assistant district attorney and lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, was serving her first term in the Mississippi House. With only one precinct out, Carlton held a 54 percent lead over Patten.

A special election will be held to fill Carlton’s legislative seat.

The Appeals Court district includes parts of Hinds and Jones counties; and all of 13 other counties: Adams, Amite, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pike, Simpson, Walthall and Wilkinson.

Judge Leslie Southwick did not seek re-election to the post he had held since the Court of Appeals was founded in 1994. He has been nominated to become a federal judge in Jackson.

Candidates in the runoffs advanced from the Nov. 7 general election, when races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, one state House seat and dozens of other judgeships were settled.

The special legislative elections filled vacancies created by the cancer deaths of one House member and two senators earlier this year. The winners will serve the remaining time in a four-year term that ends in January 2008.

— In Senate District 14, Lydia Chassaniol of Winona defeated Hiram C. Eastland III of Greenwood. The district includes all of Carroll County and parts of Leflore, Attala, Grenada, Montgomery and Tallahatchie counties. The seat was left vacant with the death in May of longtime Sen. Robert G. “Bunky” Huggins, R-Greenwood.

— In House District 34, Marvin J. Cochran of Avon faced Linda Whittington of Schlater. The district includes parts of Carroll, Holmes, Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery and Washington counties. The seat was left vacant by the death in July of second-term Rep. May Whittington, D-Schlater, Linda Whittington’s cousin by marriage.

— In Senate District 41, state Rep. Joey Fillingane of Sumrall faced City Councilwoman Deborah Denard Delgado of Hattiesburg. The district includes parts of Covington, Forrest, Jefferson Davis, Lamar and Marion counties. The Senate seat was left vacant by the death in March of Sen. Billy Harvey, D-Prentiss.