Candidate Removed from Lauderdale County Ballot

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Lauderdale County's elections, still weeks away, are not without controversy. A judge removed a local man from the 2011 ballot in the District 2 justice court judge's race.

There were two issues for the court to decide involving candidate Eddie Gray Holt, his criminal record and residency.

"All saints have a past and every sinner has a future," said Holt.

Holt said in 2003 he was convicted of conspiracy to uttering forgery, which is a felony. But it turns out it's not one of the felony convictions that would prevent a Mississippian from running for justice court judge or from voting.

The judge ruled that Holt couldn't run because he hadn't met the residency requirement of living in Lauderdale County for two years prior to the election. He cited the fact that Holt was also registered to vote in Alabama and he had filed a lawsuit as a resident of Alabama. Holt says he can't argue with those facts, but does want other convicted felons to know that, depending on their conviction, they may be considered a qualified elector.

"I will not be appealing the judge's decision, I think it was fair," said Holt.
"It shows how one man can make a difference," he said. "But what I was doing based on my own research was running for a position. And I think if people want to choose me, and knowing about me, because we have judges now across the state that have been convicted of a felony."

"He found that conviction would not disqualify him for running for the office of justice of the peace," said Bill Ready, Sr., attorney for the Lauderdale County Election Commission.

Ready also agrees that the ruling was fair and cleared up a common misconception.

"He has brought to light something which was not in the sunlight," said ready. "And I think you have to give great credit to Judge Williamson for that."

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