Candidate’s death gives circuit judge seat to Blackwell

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, October 16, 2018


NATCHEZ — Circuit Court Judge District 6-2 candidate and former Wilkinson County prosecuting attorney, Holmes Sturgeon, died Wednesday after a sudden illness.

By default, Sturgeon’s sole opponent in the race, Debra Blackwell, will be the next District 6-2 Circuit Court Judge, said Larry Gardner, Adams County Election Commission chair.

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Under state law, write-ins are not legal and will not be counted, Gardner said.

“If all candidates are qualified, write-ins don’t count,” Gardner said. “The only way a write-in candidate would be good is if Blackwell died or was disqualified.”

Sturgeon died Wednesday after he suffered an asthma attack combined with a strep throat infection, the combination of which deprived him of oxygen and damaged brain cells.

Sturgeon was on life support in a coma for a week at Ochsner’s Medical Center in New Orleans before his family removed him from life support. His funeral was Friday.

Blackwell has 30 years experience as an attorney, including 16 years as a deputy district attorney under Sixth Circuit District Attorney Ronnie Harper.