Carlyn Hicks speaks to supporters at the EcoShed after her victory in the District 1 Hinds County Court Judge Race on Tuesday. Hicks got 55% of the vote (5,911) in defeating Hinds County Senior District Attorney Greta Mack Harris. Hicks was appointed to the bench in July 2020 to complete the term of retiring Judge Melvin Priester, Jr. In the Hinds County Sheriff’s race, Interim Sheriff Marshand Crisler and Tyree Jones bested a field of 13 candidates. Crisler and Jones will face each other in a runoff November 23. (Advocate photos by Josh Martin and courtesy of Tyree Jones)
With most of the country watching midterm governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey, crime has been the hot button issue in Hinds County. On Tuesday, voters went to the polls to fill three positions in the law enforcement chain – Sheriff, Constable, and Judge.
The field for Hinds County Sheriff was packed with 13 candidates, many of whom either work or have worked for the Jackson Police Department or the Sheriff’s Department. The special election was called to replace former Sheriff Lee Vance who died from complications due to COVID on August 4th.
At night’s end, interim Sheriff Marshand Crisler came out on top with 31% with Tyree Jones garnering 24% of the vote. Neither candidate received 50% of the vote plus one, so a run-off between the two top candidates will happen on November 23.
“What I’m asking voters to do is take a look at the two candidates left standing and look for qualifications,” Crisler said at his watch party at 4th Avenue Lounge. “My background in law enforcement speaks volumes.”
Jones, who gathered with supporters at Hal & Mal’s, said he showed dedication during his campaign and plans to do the same in the runoff.
“I’ve got nearly two decades of experience in law enforcement, which makes me an excellent candidate,” he said.
In the Hinds County District 5 Constable race, Juan Cloy and Beverly Wade Green will advance to a runoff. Like the Sheriff’s race, there were a bevy of candidates – eight to be exact – on the ballot. Green garnered 29% of the vote with Cloy trailing slightly behind at 24%. Cloy has previously worked for the FBI and now trains police officers through his non-profit Justice Training Institute. Green was formerly a detention center officer with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.
In the District 1 Hinds County Court Judge race, Carlyn Hicks received 55% of the vote, giving her an outright victory over Greta Mack Harris Tuesday night. She will continue to serve in the position that she was appointed to in July 2020 when she replaced retiring Judge Melvin Priester, Jr.
“They said it couldn’t be done; they said who is she? They said she was appointed by the Republicans,” she said in her victory speech. “What they didn’t know is who I really was. What they didn’t know is that my connections to the community started well before I was a public servant.”
Turnout for Tuesday’s election was low. Only 32,000 of Hinds County’s 166,000-plus registered voters cast a ballot. That’s just over 19%.