By KELLY DANIELS
The election of a Circuit Judge for Place 3 in the 16th Circuit Court District is not over. Voters will have to decide between two candidates in a runoff election on Tuesday — Lee Coleman and Nebra Porter, both West Point attorneys.
All Oktibbeha County registered voters may vote in the runoff; polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. What follows is a question-and-answer interview with Coleman. He and Porter were asked the same questions.
West Point attorney Lee Coleman received his law degree from the University of Mississippi, where we was elected president of the law school student body.
His experience in general law practice includes service as an attorney for Clay County and the Board of Supervisors. He also served two terms in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
He and his wife, Peggy, have two sons.
What are your strongest qualities as a candidate?
I’ve always had a strong work ethic and a desire to be the best that I can be at anything that I try to do. I’ll use my determination, background, and experience to be the best judge that I can be.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to the legal system?
The primary duty of any circuit court judge is to see that every person appearing in court receives a fair and impartial trial. The law should be administered without favoritism to any person or group. If the public believes that the legal system is being run fairly, it inspires patriotism and loyalty. My most passionate objection is to inspire all parties to feel that they got a fair trial.
What does justice mean to you specifically?
To me justice means that all persons are equal before the law.
A circuit judge in the courtroom is like an umpire in a baseball game; he should call it like he sees it.
How do you view the local court system’s success in administering justice?
For the most part I have confidence in our local court system.
Of course, there are always things that can be improved. I look forward to co-operating with the current circuit judges to make improvements in the system.
How confident are you that you would be an asset to the 16th District’s Circuit Court?
If I weren’t confident of being an asset to the Court, I would not have become a candidate. I have been a lawyer in Mississippi for 36 years and practices every kind of case likely to be heard in Circuit Court (both civil and criminal).
I believe that my experience will enable me to be an excellent judge.
What motivates you to serve as judge and make decisions that involve life or death?
My primary motivation is that I feel that my experience and background enables me to protect every citizen’s right to a fair and impartial trial.
What motivates you to work in the legal system?
I believe that by providing a fair and impartial court, that I can improve the quality of life for all the citizens of the 16th Circuit Court District.