Winning judicial candidates reflect on the race

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Tuesday's election was uncharted territory for the winners of two judicial races. The 10th Circuit Court judge's race is the first open election for the position in almost 40 years.

"We all got together for three hours, which was a long three hours, and watched the results come in," said Robert "Bo" Bailey, winner of a 10th Circuit Court District judgeship.

The 12th Chancery Court District race told a similar story. The retirement of Judge Jerry Mason opened the door for Charlie Smith to step into this new role. Smith says shadowing Judge Mason prepared him for this day.

"Of course, watching Judge Mason and Judge Primeaux, and the practicing before them, I've learned a lot from them so that's going to be hugely helpful," said Smith.

Bailey credited his family ties for his election win. He says seeing the success of his dad, former Circuit Judge Robert Bailey, motivated him at a young age.

"My dad was a circuit judge for 27 years, and obviously, I got to watch him do that. And there's something you always want to do. You want to follow in your dad's footsteps, if possible," said Bailey.

Bailey and Smith both say they believe their judicial backgrounds give them the necessary tools to perform in their new roles.

"Just working as a private attorney in a varied practice, it's just all going to be beneficial," said Smith. "Just been a great thing for me and the whole family. Got to meet a lot of good people along the way too.”

Bailey and Smith will take the oath of office in early January.