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Kenny Griffis wins seat, Jess Dickinson takes post

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Nov. 6, 2002
Meridian native Kenny Griffis won a seat Tuesday on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, defeating incumbent Judge Jim Brantley in one of two high-profile state judicial elections.
Griffis, who lives in Ridgeland, said he was grateful for the support he received from Meridian and Lauderdale County.
Griffis will represent the District 3 Position 1 seat on the 10-member Court of Appeals. The district covers all or parts of 19 Central Mississippi counties, including Lauderdale, Clarke and Newton.
With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Griffis received 86,982 votes, or 56 percent, while Brantley received 68,495 votes, or 44 percent.
Dickinson ousts McRae
In the other top judicial race, challenger Jess H. Dickinson of Gulfport defeated incumbent Charles R. "Chuck" McRae of Pascagoula for the state Supreme Court.
Dickinson will represent the Southern District Position 1 seat on the state Supreme Court, which includes Clarke County.
With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Dickinson had 125,318 votes, or 52 percent. Challenger Larry Buffington had 58,551 votes, or 25 percent, and McRae with 55,101, or 23 percent.
Griffis reprimand
In Griffis' race, his election came the same day that the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention reprimanded him for allegedly violating the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The committee said Griffis made an improper pledge in a campaign flier distributed last weekend. The flier said Griffis would fight the special interest groups like the personal injury lawyers who have created the lawsuit industry.'"
The committee said it viewed the statement, which singles out "personal injury lawyers," as a pledge or promise inconsistent with fair and impartial administration of justice.
The committee will have the option to report Griffis to the Mississippi Bar Association or the Commission on Judicial Performance after the election.
Griffis had no comment on the reprimand because he hadn't seen it.