Fundraising in Miss. chief judge race tops $1.2M

Published 1:58 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

Chief Justice Jim Smith and challenger Jim Kitchens have raised more than $1.2 million in their campaign for the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Smith’s latest report showed Tuesday that he raised $125,852 during the Oct. 1-25 reporting period. Overall, he has raised $585,887 and spent $578,497. Smith has been on the court since 1992 from Mississippi’s central district.

Kitchens, who practices law in Jackson, raised $152,620 from Oct. 1-25. Overall, he has raised $623,322 and spent $568,986.

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No report had been filed by the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline by the third candidate in the race, former Chancery Judge Ceola James of Vicksburg.

In south Mississippi, Presiding Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. raised $89,376 from Oct. 1-25. He has raised $218,116 overall and spent $197,600.

His challenger, Chancery Judge Randy “Bubba” Pierce of Leakesville, raised $85,863 from Oct. 1-25. His campaign has raised $383,897, and he has spent $371,986.

In the northern district race, Justice Ann Lamar raised $96,911 during the reporting period. She has raised a total of $284,379 and spent $253,857.

Okolona attorney Gene Barton, who is running against Lamar, raised $1,700 this period. He has raised a total of $182,058 and spent $179,542.

In the only other state Supreme Court race on the ballot, the secretary of state’s office had not posted reports early Wednesday for incumbent Justice Chuck Easley and challenger David Chandler, a member of the state Court of Appeals.