The Democrat endorses Patten, Cotton, Givens

Published 9:00 am Sunday, November 5, 2023

Adams Countians are fortunate. When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7, they have good people from whom to choose for state and county positions on the General Election ballot.

Locally, we believe a few of these races deserve critical attention and have earned our endorsement of candidates. Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten; Attorney Tim Cotton, a former assistant district attorney and prosecutor; and Adams County Circuit Clerk Eva Givens each stand out as the best choices for the positions they seek. Each has the experience, proven track record and relationships with those with whom they have to work on a daily basis that will serve Adams Countians best.

Adams County Sheriff

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Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten is seeking his third term in office. We have seen him grow significantly in his position and accomplishments with each term.

He is becoming one of the most recognized law enforcement leaders in the state and has been sought out for state and national law enforcement and related leadership positions.

Most important for Adams County residents, he does not hide problems and despite how it may upset others, he speaks out loudly and clearly when he sees a need. After being chastised by a member of the Board of Supervisors for repeatedly complaining about jail deficiencies,  Patten made certain he got out the message that the condition of the jail is a safety and liability issue for staff and inmates and taxpayers of Adams County. He made sure local elected leaders, who have kicked the jail issue down the road for more than 20 years, understand they must act.

Further, he is leading an effort to find state and federal funds to help construct a facility that would better serve the needs of Adams Countians, before the federal government comes in and takes over the process of constructing a new facility, which takes all decision-making away from local officials and would be far more expensive than if we did it ourselves.

Challenger Curtis Davis does not have the experience in law enforcement or management or relationships or real-world grasp of the job of sheriff to effectively lead the sheriff’s department at this critical time. And because of that, we endorse Patten for another term.

Sixth District Attorney

The Sixth District of Mississippi needs a district attorney who has the experience to successfully prosecute felons and to do so in a timely manner.

Tim Cotton served as an assistant district attorney in the Sixth District. He has worked for years with investigators, other law enforcement and court officials in Adams, Amite, Franklin and Wilkinson counties, which make up the district. Cotton has a depth of experience trying felony cases that Shameca Collins, current district attorney, does not. Unfortunately, Collins’ lack of experience shows.

When Collins was elected in 2019, she had never tried a felony case. That’s the entire job of the District Attorney, to try those accused of felonies, everything from burglaries to murders, and to bring justice for victims.

That fact is magnified when one considers the significant turnover of assistant district attorneys in her office.

Law enforcement officials from each county have complained about a lack of communication, cooperation and organization in the current district attorney’s office. Cotton has the relationships with law enforcement leaders in each county to right the ship on the district attorney’s office and police and sheriff’s offices communication and relationships in order to best provide justice for citizens.

We endorse Cotton for District Attorney.

Adams County Circuit Clerk

Eva Givens has had a successful first term as the county’s Circuit Clerk. In fact, she has navigated the office like a champion, having to lead it through COVID-19 and other related challenges.

We think Daye Dearing would in time be successful as a circuit clerk. However, we see no need for a change. Dearing does not have Givens’ 13-plus years of experience in the office.

Givens was the long-time deputy clerk for former Circuit Clerk Eddie Walker. The clerk’s office is well on its way to computerizing the office, which is a function that has taken as long as it has because of the state, not Givens. Our elections are well run and secure. Given’s employees are professional and knowledgeable. That is why we endorse Eva Givens for Circuit Clerk.