GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to decide on a number of local races including local judges, school board members and the U.S. Representative.

Below is a breakdown of what each office is responsible for and a profile of the candidates running for office.

Chancery Judge (George, Greene, Jackson counties)- Place 2

Circuit Judge (George, Greene, Jackson counties)- Place 3

George County School Board – District 1

George County School Board – District 2

George County Medical Marijuana Ballot Question

Greene County School Board – District 1

Greene County School Board – District 2

Greene County Constable – Post 2

U.S. House of Representatives (Mississippi’s 4th district)

Election Day Reminders

Judicial Elections

Two nonpartisan races for judicial posts are contested. Both represent all of George, Greene and Jackson counties.

The Chancery Court is made up of three chancellors. Two are running for re-election unopposed. One incumbent has a challenger. Chancery Courts have jurisdiction over disputes in family law, probate, conservatorships and land.

Circuit Courts hear felony criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits and appeals from County, Justice and Municipal courts.

The Circuit Court is also made up of three judges. One incumbent is running unopposed. Seat Two is open with one candidate.

Seat Three has three candidates to replace the retiring incumbent. All spoke last month at a candidate forum hosted by the George County Bar Association. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a runoff election will be held.

Chancery Judge – District 16, Place 1

D. Neil Harris running unopposed. He was first elected in 2006 after being in private practice in Ocean Springs.

Chancery Judge – District 16, Place 2

Ashlee Cole and Tanya Hasbrouk

Ashlee Cole 

  • Lives in Hurley with husband Ben. Has two children and four stepchildren.
  • BA – American History, University of Alabama and JD, University of Mississippi Law School.
  • Family law attorney in Pascagoula, Moss Point city prosecutor, special master in Jackson Co. Chancery Court. Former staff attorney for chancery court.
  • Advocated for cases to move quicker in George and Greene counties during the forum by being more present and available to attorneys and parties filing cases in those courts.

Tanya Hasbrouk (incumbent)

  • Lives in Pascagoula with one son.
  • BS – Nursing, Montana State University and JD, University of Mississippi Law School
  • First elected in 2018. Previously in private family law practice in Pascagoula, city public defender for Pascagoula and Gautier and former assistant district attorney.
  • Emphasized unique experience in areas of law practice and on the bench in dealing with conflicts and protecting children in the court.

Chancery Judge – District 16, Place 3

Mark Maples running unopposed. He was first elected in 2018 after serving seven terms as the George County prosecutor.

Circuit Court – District 19, Place 1

Keith Miller running unopposed. He is a criminal defense attorney in Pascagoula and former District Attorney for George, Greene and Jackson counties. Incumbent Dale Harkey is retiring.

Circuit Court – District 19, Place 2

Kathy King Jackson running unopposed. She was first elected in 1990.

Circuit Court – District 19, Place 3

Burrow, Ellerby, Taylor

Stephen Burrow

  • Lives in Pascagoula with wife Mary and four children
  • BSFS – International Relations, Georgetown University and JD, Tulane University Law School
  • Mississippi Ethics Commission (since 2019), Pascagoula City Council (2017-2021), private practice civil attorney
  • Drew on ability to oversee complex civil suits during the forum as opposed to others’ experience with criminal prosecution and defense and to be physically present in George and Greene counties.

Shon Ellerby

  • Lives in Ocean Springs with husband Cliff and two children
  • BA – Spanish and Psychology, University of Virginia and JD, Regent University Law School
  • Former Moss Point city prosecutor, former assistant district attorney (2014-2022)
  • Pledged during the forum to help launch a mental health court in the district and help cases move quicker by better utilizing the electronic filing system.

Calvin Taylor

  • Lives in Ocean Springs with wife Jill and three children
  • BA and JD, University of Mississippi
  • Ocean Springs municipal court judge (since 2018), private practice criminal defense attorney
  • Emphasized experience during the forum as municipal judge and trust expressed in endorsements from former circuit clerks, sheriffs and other elected officials.

Court of Appeals Judge – District 5, Position 2 (Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Pearl River, Perry and Stone; and part of Wayne County)

Joel Smith running unopposed. He was appointed to the seat in 2021 after serving three terms as the District Attorney for Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties.

George County School Board

Voters in Districts 1 and 2 in will elect school board members to a six-year term. In District 1, Incumbent Jessie Ludgood is challenged by Matthew Smith. In District 2, three candidates are running for the open seat.

In announcing their campaign, each candidate released a candidate statement. A forum with all the school board candidates will also be hosted at the Lucedale-George County Public Library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 3.

Duties include:

  • Hiring and evaluating the superintendent
  • Approving and monitoring the budget
  • Setting salaries for employees
  • Approving purchases
  • Establishing district policies
  • Adopting the school calendar
  • Ensuring local policies comply with all state and federal laws and regulations
  • Building schools and closing schools
  • Establishing district vision
  • Establishing district goals and monitoring progress
  • Assess board effectiveness
  • Approving personnel actions based on superintendent’s recommendation

District 1 Candidates:

Jessie Ludgood and Matthew Smith

Jessie Ludgood (incumbent)

  • Married to wife Priscilla, has two children and six grandchildren
  • Retired from Singing River Electric
  • Candidate statement: “I believe a good education is one of the greatest gifts we can provide for the children of George County. As a member of the school board, the students and the teachers are focal point in every session. We are accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of the schools in George County. I am proud of the accomplishments of our students, teachers and principals for our overall “A” rating in the George County District. First time ever! Many physical and facial improvements have been made to the schools to make them a safer place for our students. I also believe physical activities are important in the growth of our youth. A basketball program has been put back in all elementary schools. I still believe myself to be the best candidate for this position as I have a genuine interest in the youth, and I take extreme pride in being a part of something that will help our youth reach their true potential in life. Our children are our greatest asset, and I’ve spent most of my adult life working with them in one capacity or another. Before becoming a school board member, I was a state and local sports official and had the opportunity to referee and umpire many of the students’ basketball and softball games. I take being a school board member seriously and the qualities of the person that should possess this office. I will never give up or quit on the students and teachers of George County.”

Matthew Smith

  • Married to wife Lacy, has three daughters
  • Veterinarian at family-owned George County Veterinary Clinic
  • Candidate statement: “George County, we need change. We need a board whose priorities and passion are focused on the children of George County. Our children deserve better. I want transparency and accountability from our local board. I would like better communication between the board and our citizens. I would also like better communication between the board and our great teachers. We all must work together. If elected, one of my goals is to put our focus back on the people that matter most, our children and teachers. Our school district has the best teachers and support staff. It’s no secret that I am 100 percent against the purchase of the $1.27 million unfinished building. A purchase I feel takes away from our children. A purchase like this should have taken months of discussion that included input from a variety of people within the school district and our county at large. Our school buildings, buses and under-paid staff are more important than the purchase of this building. In my opinion, this was an unnecessary, over-priced purchase. One program that is close to my family is LEAD Academy. We have a great need for this program and the services that it offers. Because the board and superintendent felt it was not a need, it was dissolved. My plan, if elected, is to look at re-establishing this valuable program.”

School Board District 2 Candidates:

Clanton, Pritchett, Tyrone

Maria Clanton

  • Married to husband Scott, has two children and five grandchildren
  • Special education teacher and department chair, Pascagoula Schools. Former teacher, director of special education and director of human resources, George Co. Schools
  • Candidate statement: “Because I have worked as a special education and general education teacher, as well as director, I have a unique perspective when it comes to education. My motivation for seeking the Beat 2 position with the George County School Board is driven by my desire to see children genuinely be put first. If we make decisions that are based on the foundation of doing what is best for children, then we will be making good decisions. When we are putting children first, we will strive to have fiscal integrity and responsibility which requires the needs of children to be put before the desires of adults. If elected, I will work to ensure that there is transparency from the board. When it comes to big decisions that deal with curriculum, safety and financial expenditures that are excessive, the community wants and deserves to know what is being considered before a vote is taken. Educators and support staff have such a unique insight that they can bring to the table. As a school board member, I want to see that we are utilizing this asset as we serve to make decisions for our children. I am not a politician. I am simply an educator and grandmother who will work for the children, educators and families of George County.”

David Pritchett

  • Married to Kristina, has five children
  • VP – Area Manager, ACME Truck Line – Ocean Springs
  • Candidate statement: “First and foremost, I stand for Christian values. Nothing is possible without God, which should never be taken out of our school system. I have a child in the sixth grade at Agricola, so our school system is near and dear to my heart. The children should be our priority followed by the staff and the taxpayers. The question I keep getting hit with is where I stand on the new building. I hate to answer the way I have been, but I cannot give an honest educated answer without knowing the factors that played a role in the purchase of it. Do I feel it was the best of choices? No, not based on the facts I have researched. Do I feel there was a need for a nicer centralized office? Yes, but this should have been a decision that was made with more transparency and consideration of the public. On a professional level, I am familiar with how boards and committees operate. I am a VP for a major trucking company and serve on the Board of Directors for it. I am responsible for over 700 employees, 28 offices and the budgets of each. I also hold a couple chairs on committees within associations that service the trucking industry. I have served on the finance committee, held the committee chair for missions and served on other committees at Barton. That, in addition to teaching coed adult Sunday school, filling in teaching youth and coaching Upwards Basketball. At the end of the day, I will say this, it takes a lot of water to turn a big ship. With the school system in George County having over 600 employees, it is a big ship. Do I feel one person can make all the difference? Absolutely not, but one person can put pressure in the areas needed to help start turning the rudder in the right direction.” 

Margaret Tyrone

  • Married to husband Bill, has two sons and six grandchildren
  • Retired from George County Schools after teaching science and computer classes in Pascagoula and George Co.
  • Candidate statement: “I decided to run after I heard about the purchase of the building for the district office. A lot of taxpayer dollars was spent on that purchase. The GC people should have been better informed before the purchase, not after. Also, after talking with people, I found out about the audit and lawsuit which is very troubling. We need a change in our school board. The school board should put our students first, not a pretty, new building.”

George County Medical Marijuana Ballot question

In three different ballot questions, voters will be asked whether they are for or against the county to allow cultivation, transportation and dispensing. Board of Supervisors President Frankie Massey previously said the results will be considered by the board when discussing medical marijuana regulation after the election.

Greene County School Board

District 1 Candidates:

Davis, Jordan, Walters

Incumbent Sue Eubanks is not seeking reelection.

Wayne ‘Buddy’ Davis

  • Married to wife LaRetta, has two daughters
  • Owner of L&L Construction in Leakesville
  • Candidate statement: “I have been a business owner since 2003, serving as CEO and president of L&L Construction of Leakesville, Inc. As a contractor and builder, I have had the opportunity to construct houses from the ground up and also redesign existing ones, providing forever homes for families across Greene County and fulfilling the needs and wants of each client to the best of my ability. This profession has required me to be a financially-sound manager not only for my business but also for the individuals I am serving. I take the plans, desires, and budget of my clients to create a safe, stable, and satisfying home as the end result. I believe the qualities that I have developed as a business owner would be an asset to the board of education. I feel it is important that the citizens, faculty members, and stakeholders continue to have a voice in the educational system of Greene County, and I am willing to listen, learn and help make financially and morally sound decisions for the betterment of the children of Greene County, creating a safe, stable and satisfying educational environment for many years to come. I ask that you prayerfully consider me for your next Greene County District 1 School Board member on November 8, 2022. Together, we can keep Greene County moving forward.”

Joshua Jordan

  • Married to wife Heather, has three children
  • Maintenance worker at Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula
  • Candidate statement: “I am currently the GCHS Softball Booster president and I am also a Booster member of several other sports. I have volunteered and assisted in many activities to help make our schools a better place for our students and student athletes. I feel I would be a great representative on the Board of Education for several reasons. The main being that all three of my children are currently in the Greene County School System. I am aware of all of the issues that face our students, student athletes, faculty members, and our concerned parents on a daily basis, because I deal with them on a daily basis as well. I have always remained in contact with our administrators and faculty members because I too am a concerned parent and understand that we all need to work together for our students and student athletes because they are the future of our great county, I ask that you support me in becoming an active and attentive voice for not only District 1, but all of Wildcat Country. Once a Wildcat Always a Wildcat.”

Shannon Walley Walters

  • Married to Paul, has three children and four grandchildren
  • Retired teacher at Leakesville Elementary
  • Candidate statement: “In 1986, I graduated from Sand Hill High School, then furthered my education at Jones County Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi, gaining my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Later, I added a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from William Carey. The majority of my tenure was as a classroom teacher for 26 years at Leakesville Elementary School, then served as Instructional Specialist for 5 years. In May of 2021, I retired after 31 years of service to Greene County School District. My father, Bobby Gene Walley, also served this county over 30 years as a teacher and an administrator. His love for education was instilled in me at an early age. The education of children has always been a calling for me, whether at school or at church. I have been married to Paul Walters for 34 years. We have three children that are also graduates of Greene County Schools, and we have four grandchildren who will be future students. My husband is pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Leakesville, where my family and I Serve. I only ask that you please consider me as your choice for District 1 School Board Member so I can continue to serve Greene County by using my past experience in education to further educational opportunities for future students of the Greene County School District.”

Greene County School Board – District 2 Candidates:

Hill, Knight, Mosley

C.J. Hill (incumbent)

  • Candidate statement: “I, Curtis J. Hill (CJ), would like to sincerely ask for your support and vote in re-electing me as your Greene County- District II School Board Member in the upcoming election on November 8, 2022. I will continue striving daily to interact and communicate with parents, children, my fellow board members and my Superintendent to find more ways to success.”

Shena Knight

  • Candidate statement: “I, Shena Latoia Knight, would like your vote for Greene County School Board Member. I am a lifelong resident of the Leakesville community and a product of the Leakesville school. I stand for higher education and greater learning experiences for all students and support the faculty and administration. I am willing to serve in this capacity as your next school board member.”

Brenda Debose Mosley

  • Has three children
  • Retired communications system analyst at SMCI in Leakesville
  • Candidate statement: “My educational foundation in the Greene County School System was with Greene County Vocational High School (GVS) and further completed at State Line High School (Class of 1971.) My employment background began with AT&T/South Central Bell Telephone Company as I worked in the Telecommunications Aerial & Underground Engineering Services in the counties of George, Greene, and Jackson. In 1986, I relocated to Lowell, Massachusetts, and worked for BayBanks Middlesex (Now Bank of Boston) as a Customer Service Supervisor. In 1991, I moved back to State Line and started my employment with the Mississippi Department of Corrections (SMCI,) and after over 25 years of service, I retired in 2017 as a Communications System Analyst II. My greatest achievements in life are my three children, Sean Leonard Smith (HVAC Engineer,) Brenitra Le’Shea Mosley (Cyber Security/System Security Engineer,) and Britton Mosley, Jr. (Geologist, Environmental Manager.) I am a cradle member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in State Line where I actively serve as Lay Leader, and also Lay Delegate to the Mississippi Annual Conference of the UMC, Hattiesburg District. I am asking for your support on November 8, 2022 in electing me to serve you as your representative from District 2 on the Greene County Board of Education The current and future education of our children is the top priority.”

Greene County Constable – Post 2

Pam Anderson and James ‘Adam’ Kelley

The previous constable, James Wilkins, resigned in August. This will be a special election to fill the seat until it is on the ballot again during the countywide general election next year.

Duties include:

  • “To keep and preserve the peace with his county, by faithfully aiding and assisting in executing the criminal laws of the state.”
  • Attend the Justice Court of their district
  • Execute all judgments in any criminal case before the court
  • Take the oath of office prescribed by the Mississippi Constitution
  • Post bond payable in an amount equal to $25,000

Candidates:

Pam Anderson

  • Has four children, seven grandchildren
  • Former Greene County deputy sheriff, Emergency Management Agency staff
  • Candidate statement: “I have more than 19 years of law enforcement and public safety experience and am a certified dispatcher, detention officer, and a volunteer firefighter. Along with my years of experience in the field. I also hold an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia Southern University. I am a member of Canaan Land United Pentecostal Church and a life-long resident of Greene County. I have four children: Randie, Maegan, Ethan and Abby, andave been blessed with seven grandchildren. I am vested in our community as a mother, grandmother and public servant. I am very proud to call Greene County my home and share with you the concerns of keeping our county a great place to raise our children and a safe place for everyone. The Office of Constable is extremely important to our justice system and carries a great deal of responsibility that impacts each resident of our county. I believe that my training, experience and desire to serve my friends and neighbors uniquely qualifies me for this important post and I humbly ask for your support on November 8, 2022.”

James ‘Adam’ Kelley

  • Married to wife Amy, has two children
  • Sheriff’s Deputy, Greene County Sheriff’s Office
  • Candidate statement: “Help elect me, James Adam Kelley for constable post 2 on November 8 2022, My family and I have been a resident of Greene County since 2017. I have served Greene County as a sheriff’s deputy since 2018, where I am still employed. I started my career in Clayton County, Georgia as a police officer in 2004. I’ve truly enjoyed living in, and serving Greene County for the last few years, now I would like to further my career by continuing to serve Greene County as your Constable. I ask for your votes and support in order to help me serve you as Constable.”

U.S. House of Representatives (Mississippi’s 4th district)

Johnny Dupree and Mike Ezell

Congressman Steven Palazzo was defeated in a June primary runoff by challenger Mike Ezell.

Duties include:

  • Introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees
  • Vote on legislation brought to the House floor
  • The Constitution gives Congress power to declare war, levy taxes, and regulate commerce
  • Represent 14 southern Mississippi counties and be a liaison to help constituents do business with the federal government

Candidates:

Johnny Dupree (D)

Age: 68

Family: Married to Johniece for 49 years. Two daughters and two grandchildren

Education: Jones Junior College (AA – Political Science), University of Southern Mississippi (BS and MS – Political Science & Government) and Jackson State University (PhD – Urban Studies)

Offices Held: Mayor of Hattiesburg (2001-2017). Former Forrest County supervisor, Hattiesburg school board member. Democratic nominee for governor (2011) and secretary of state (2019).

Other occupations: Self-employed real estate broker

Policy Priorities: Curbing inflation and ensuring fair pay, capping prescription drug costs, abolishing pre-existing condition coverages, ensuring abortion access, limits on assault rifle ownership, become energy independent, strengthen the VA Healthcare system and support homeless veterans

Mike Ezell (R)

Age: 63

Family: Married to Suzette. One daughter and one granddaughter

Education: University of Southern Mississippi (BA – Criminal Justice), Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy, FBI National Academy

Offices Held: Jackson County Sheriff (since 2014)

Other occupations: Ocean Springs Police Chief, Pascagoula Police Captain

Policy Priorities: Ban abortion funding and support crisis pregnancy centers, finish border wall, limit government regulation, support law enforcement and veterans, increase domestic energy production and bring supply chain jobs back to U.S.

Alden Johnson (L)

Age: 32

Family: Married to Pa’Shance

Education: Jones Community College, Hattiesburg Fire Academy

Offices Held: N/A

Other occupations: Lieutenant, Petal Fire Department

Policy Priorities: Lower healthcare costs by making direct primary care more accessible, drawback military from “world policing,” expand nuclear as an alternative energy, decriminalize marijuana, eliminate income tax, scale back size of government

Election Day Reminders

Polls for the November 8 Elections will open at 7 a.m., and close at 7 p.m. Any voter in line at 7 p.m., is legally entitled to cast a ballot. 

The last day to absentee vote in-person is Saturday, Nov. 5. Circuit Clerk Offices will be open from 8 a.m., to noon.

All mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 8 and received by county Circuit Clerk Offices within five business days of November 8 in order to count.

Voters are required to show photo identification at the polls.  A voter without an acceptable form of photo identification is entitled to cast an affidavit ballot.

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