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District Attorney’s race to be settled in Democratic Primary

 

NATCHEZ — When Adams County voters go to the polls Aug. 6 in primary elections, not only will they be casting ballots for candidates vying for their parties’ nominations in 15 countywide offices, they also will be voting for candidates in several district and statewide offices.

Among those races is the Sixth Circuit District Attorney position that represents Adams County and District Attorney in Adams, Amite Franklin and Wilkinson counties.

Incumbent Ronnie Harper, Democrat, faces a challenge from Shameca Collins, who currently serves as Natchez City Prosecutor.

The race will be decided in the Aug. 6 primary. Any necessary runoff will be held Aug. 27.

Collins said she believes her experience as the Natchez City Prosecutor, and eight years prior to that as a public defender with felony trial experience, makes her a great candidate for the position.

“The duty of a prosecutor is not to convict, but to see that justice is done,” Collins said in announcing her candidacy earlier this year.

Collins said she advocates putting programs in place to help nonviolent offenders and drug offenders.

“You can’t let people get away with committing crimes, but you can put programs in place that will reform our young men and women before they become another statistic,” Collins said.

One such program Collins said she would support is changing the way the court system handles people with addictions and other non-violent first-time offenders.

“For too long, we have treated addiction as a crime, when it’s not,” Collins said. “It’s a medical problem. We must end mass incarceration…”

At the same time, Collins said repeat offenders and violent offenders must be prosecuted.

“Each case will be weighed on its merits, with safety of the community and fairness being my top priorities,” Collins said.

Harper, who has served in the sixth district attorney’s position since 1995, said he would like another term to serve the people of the sixth district and his experience makes him the best candidate for the job.

“I truly believe that my 31 years of experience, knowledge and proven record make me the most qualified person to continue serving as your district attorney, Harper said in announcing his candidacy. “As your district attorney, I will continue to support and assist our law enforcement officers, and I will continue to work hard, be fair and respectful of all people, and try, with the help of God, to do the right thing, to the best of my ability, to insure that justice is served in each and every case.”

Before being elected to the position in 1995, Harper had served in the office as an assistant district attorney since 1988.

Harper said he strives to get justice for victims and their families, but the biggest problem over the past few years has been the difficulty law enforcement has in obtaining the necessary evidence to get convictions, “primarily where you don’t have cooperation to get witnesses.”

District and statewide offices that will be on ballots in Adams County:

Sixth Circuit District Attorney

  • Democrats: Shameca Collins and incumbent Ronnie Harper

State Senate District 37

  • Democrat: Will Godrey
  • Republicans: Milt Burris, Morgan Halford Poore, Melanie Sojourner and Kevin B. Wells

State Senate District 38

  • Democrats: Kelvin Butler and Tammy Witherspoon

State Representative District 94

  • Democrat: incumbent Robert Johnson III (unopposed)

State Representative District 96

  • Democrat: Aisha Sanders
  • Independent incumbent Angela Cockerham and

State Representative District 97

  • Republican: incumbent Sam Mims (unopposed)

Statewide offices

Governor

  • Democrats: Michael Brown, William Bond Compton Jr., Jim Hood, Robert J. Ray, Robert Shuler Smith, Gregory Walsh, Velesha P. Williams and Albert Wilson
  • Republicans: Robert Foster, Tate Reeves and Bill Waller Jr.

Lieutenant Governor

  • Democrat: Jay Hughes
  • Republicans: Delbert Hosemann and Shane Quick

Secretary of State

  • Democrats: Johnny DuPree and Maryra Hodges Hunt
  • Republicans: Sam Britton and Michael Watson

Attorney General

  • Democrat: Jennifer Riley Collins
  • Republicans: Mark Baker, Lynn Fitch and Andy Taggart

State Auditor

  • Democrat: no candidates
  • Republican: Shad White

State Treasurer

  • Democrat: Addie Lee Green
  • Republicans: Eugene S. “Buck” Clarke and David McRae

Commissioner of Agriculture & Commerce

  • Democrat: Rickey L. Cole
  • Republican: Andy Gipson

Commissioner of Insurance

  • Democrat: Robert E. Amos
  • Republican: Mike Chaney

Public Service Commission

  • Democrats: Connie Moran and Sugar Stallings
  • Republicans: Dane Maxwell and Kelvin Schulz