More candidates seeking Clarke County justice court judge seat

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:37 PM CST
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QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - After Judge Toby Bartee announced he will not seek re-election after his seventh term as justice court judge in Clarke County, candidates have stepped forward with interest in filling that seat. Six candidates so far have entered the race.

Independent Casey West Kyle and Democrat Rosie Bumpers spoke with News 11 Wednesday to share their backgrounds, which they say speak volumes for their campaigns.

“I was born and raised in Shubuta, Miss. I always lived in Clarke County. I raised my family now in the Enterprise community. I don’t see myself living anywhere else other than Clarke County. I’ve been here at justice court for 16 years, eight years as a justice court clerk. Our previous justice court clerk before me won an election for the judge. He is now the judge, and I took his spot eight years ago,” said Kyle.

“I went to school here. I have been pastoring for 30-plus years here in the city of Quitman. I have done a lot of services here in this community. I have a bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling. I have a degree in crisis counseling which allowed me to be able to work with young people,” said Bumpers.

Kyle said it has been her dream to be a justice court judge one day.

“I’ve always wanted it. That was the ultimate end game for this job. I was waiting for the perfect opportunity. With Judge Bartee retiring this year, I figured this was the best shot at it. He told me years ago to treat this job as a training opportunity to be the justice court judge one day. I have always remembered that,” said Kyle.

Bumpers gave a list of things she would add if elected.

“I would love to implement programs that will rehabilitate those that have been in prison, to bring them out of jail and let them have a new life. What I mean by that is to rehabilitate them and restore them back to the community so they can live a good life,” said Bumpers.

Both candidates shared why you should vote for them.

“I feel that I am very qualified for the position. I feel like no matter what, I will be fair, I am going to ensure justice, I am going to protect your rights, I am going to maintain the integrity in this courtroom that has always been, and I will show grace and mercy,” said Kyle.

“They should vote for me because of my integrity, integrity in this community. Impartiality in my courtroom. I would like to put it this way ‘in the peoples’ courtroom’,” said Bumpers.

Baba Peebles was not available to do an interview but gave News 11 a statement to voters.

“If elected, I would be fair and honest with the people. I will treat them right and work hard for them,” said Peebles.

News 11 earlier interviewed Chanetta Stevens, an independent. We reached out to the remaining candidates, Andrea Monique Laphand Davis and Bryan McLaughlin, both Democrats, but our calls were not returned as of the time this story was filed.

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