Coleman wins contentious 10th District DA race

Kassie Coleman (Source: Governor's Office)

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - After months of campaigning, the voters of Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper and Wayne counties went to the polls Tuesday to make their choice for 10th Circuit Court District Attorney.

With almost 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Kassie Coleman edged Democrat Michael Grace by 600 votes.

The finalizing of the results was delayed for hours in Kemper County, which had to secure a working ballot counter so absentee ballots could be fed through and tabulated.

Coleman has served as DA since she was appointed in 2018 to fill an unexpired term. Before that, she was an assistant district attorney. Grace is an attorney in east Mississippi.

The outcome of a death investigation by Meridian police in 2014 became a key issue in the campaign.

Christian Andreacchio's death was ruled a suicide by local police and by the medical examiner's office. The attorney general's office also reviewed the case and considers it closed after a grand jury heard the evidence and decided not to indict two people in connection with the 21-year-old's death. Christian's family, however, does not believe he took his own life.

The family and others backed Grace who has said he would reopen the investigation of Andreacchio's death.

Coleman previously said her office is also ready to receive and review any new evidence.

Here is the county breakdown of votes:

Coleman total 19,383
Lauderdale 10,263
Wayne 4,018
Clarke 3,459
Kemper 1,643

Grace total 18,783
Lauderdale 10,336
Wayne 3,209
Clarke 2,829
Kemper 2,409