Challengers qualify in District 4 supervisor, Justice Court judge races


Brian Michael Lindner, a 44-year-old New York native who owns an operates Brian Michael’s Catering Co., qualified on Friday to run for District 1 Justice Court judge as a Democrat. 

By: 
Ryan Phillips
SDN EDITOR

Two more candidates qualified on Friday to run for county offices in 2019 — one a seasoned incumbent and the other entering politics for the first time. 

Brian Michael Lindner, a 44-year-old New York native who owns an operates Brian Michael’s Catering Co., qualified on Friday to run for District 1 Justice Court judge as a Democrat. 

It will be his first attempt at running for elected office. 

As of right now, Lindner is set to face incumbent Justice Court Judge William Anton "Tony" Boykin Jr., a Democrat who has spent over four decades as a justice court judge, but those still mulling a run for office have until March 1 to qualify. 
“I’ve never done this before in my life, this is brand new,” Lindner said when asked about his prior political experience and aspirations. 

Lindner first moved to Starkville in 2005, two months before Hurricane Katrina. He then set up shop with Brian Michael’s Meat Market, also known as Brian Michael’s Burger Co. 

After weathering the demands of a rigorous life in the restaurant business, Lindner decided to pivot and focus solely on his catering work. 

Originally from New York City, Linder also spent time in Arizona working as a police officer before moving to the Golden Triangle. 

Lindner was trained in the culinary arts by his brother, Chef Joseph Lindner, for almost two decades, which resulted in the siblings opening their own seafood restaurant in Eastern Long Island, New York in 1994. 

When asked why he decided to run, Lindner said it came down to one word — change. And while unseating a longtime incumbent could present a Herculean task for many, Lindner is optimistic of the possibility. 

“It’s time for change. My competitor is a good man, but it’s time for change in District 1,” he said. “I’ve been prayerfully seeking this out for about three or four months now and decided to go down to the courthouse and qualify to run.” 

The Primary Election is set for Aug. 6, with a runoff date of Aug. 27, while the General Election will be held Nov. 5, with a corresponding runoff on Nov. 26, if necessary. 

INCUMBENT SUPE QUALIFIES 

District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams, a Democrat who has served on the board since 2011, filed the necessary paperwork on Friday to run for what could be his third term in office, with no challengers yet to qualify. 

Williams, a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of both Jackson State University and Mississippi State University, won his first term in office with a Democratic Primary win over then-candidate John Young in 2011. 

In 2015, Williams secured his second term by defeating Democrats Sylvester “Dewayne” Davis and Ernest Rogers Jr. in the Democratic Primary. 

Williams and his wife, Mozilla Robinson, are members of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon. 

Attempts to contact Williams for comment were unsuccessful prior to press time on Friday. 

FORMER SUPE QUALIFIES FOR DISTRICT 4

The race for the District 4 county supervisor seat saw a familiar face qualify for the race on Thursday. 

Former District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson, who works as a school teacher in the Choctaw County School District, filed the necessary paperwork yesterday as he looks to reclaim the seat held by incumbent Supervisor Bricklee Miller, a Republican who defeated Jackson in the November 2015 General Election. 

Miller, who was elected as the first woman to the Board of Supervisors along with being the first Republican for District 4, won the GOP nomination on the ticket in 2015 with 56 percent of the vote in the primary over fellow Republican Bart Gregory. 
In Miller’s first bid for office in 2011, she faced off against Jackson, who was the Democratic incumbent supervisor for District 4. She would come up short in 2011, finishing with roughly 43 percent of the vote, but was far from finished. 

A second attempt at the office in 2015 saw Miller come out victorious by a narrow margin, defeating Jackson by a vote tally of 1,595 - 1,549. 

Miller has not yet qualified for the race, but told the Starkville Daily News on Thursday that she plans to make an announcement soon.  

Jackson was first elected to the board in 2008 and said on Thursday that he looks forward to connecting voters in what he hopes will be a successful bid for office. 

“I’m just interested in getting back in county government,” Jackson said by phone. “I don’t have any gripes or complaints about anything, though.” 

The deadline to qualify is March 1 at 5 p.m. for all county, state district, statewide and legislative races.

At the close of business on Thursday, only two county supervisor seats will see challengers try to claim a spot on the board, including District 4 and District 3, with Supervisor Marvell Howard, a Democrat, currently prepping to face Republican Rudy Johnson, a former candidate for county sheriff and current executive director of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District. 

OTHER RACES 

While Wednesday marked the official start of the 2019 qualifying period, some candidates opted to submit the necessary paperwork on the second day - with several incumbents still yet to file. 

Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt has served in the position for more than two decades and hopes to claim another term.  

“This will be my seventh term if I’m elected,” Hunt said. “I love serving this county.” 

Also qualifying on Thursday was District 3 Justice Court Judge Charles “Marty” Haug.

Haug has practiced law in both Florida and Mississippi for approximately 16 years. 

After focusing on criminal law for nearly six years in Florida, he began his general practice law firm in Starkville in 2009. 

Haug was elected as Oktibbeha County Justice Court Judge for District 3 and also appointed Sturgis Municipal Court Judge in 2015.

“I’m looking forward to getting back out and seeing the people,” he said on Thursday. “I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish the last four years.” 

Primary Election Day is set for Aug. 6, while the General Election will be held on Nov. 5. 

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