Priester Wins Runoff

Melvin Priester Sr. won a seat as Hinds County Court Judge in yesterday's runoff election.


Hinds County Special Circuit Judge Melvin Priester is seeking his first elected judicial position after five years in appointed seats.

Priester, who faced Jackson attorney Brent Southern in subdistrict 1, will take the seat of Judge William Barnett, who did not seek re-election, after a swearing-in ceremony Jan. 3. Priester received 61.9 percent, or 6,083 votes, and Southern 38 percent, or 3,376 votes, according to the Hinds County Election Commission's unofficial returns.

"I think it reaffirmed what happened on (Nov. 2)," Priester told the Jackson Free Press today. "I'm really very pleased, not only with the outcome, but also with the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Hinds County."

Priester, 60, will leave his current position as Hinds County special circuit judge, which he has held since the state Supreme Court selected him in 2008. In that post, Priester hears drug and violent crime cases investigated by the Jackson Enforcement Team, a federally funded task force.

Read the JFP interview with Priester here.


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