A fourth candidate has qualified for the Clay and Noxubee counties circuit court judge position for the 16th district of Mississippi.
Assistant District Attorney Trina Davidson-Brooks officially announced her candidacy for circuit court judge Tuesday at a press conference in West Point.
The 16th district, which includes Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay and Noxubee counties, has three circuit court judges, one from each area of the district — one from Lowndes County, one from Oktibbeha County and one from Clay and Noxubee counties. Circuit court primarily handles felony criminal cases.
A West Point native, Davidson-Brooks graduated from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2009. After school, she worked at a defense firm in Jackson and performed some private plaintiff work. She also worked as an attorney adviser for the Social Security Administration and was the municipal prosecutor for the city of West Point before becoming an assistant district attorney in the District Attorney’s Office in 2015.
“I have protected this community by prosecuting violent offenders,” Davidson-Brooks said. “I have also helped this community by finding ways to rehabilitate non-violent offenders. Over the past six years, I have tried my best to find truth and justice in every case I’ve tried. I have done so with integrity, sound discretion and balanced judgement.”
Davidson-Brooks said her experience trying cases as an assistant DA has given her the skills necessary to become a circuit court judge.
If elected, Davidson-Brooks said she hopes to improve the court system by exploring opportunities and creating programs for offenders, allowing those who are released from prison to gain life and work skills that would help them transition from jail back to our society. She said she would also like to see a mental health court created for non-violent offenders to receive necessary treatment needed to go back into society and be productive citizens.
Through her campaign slogan, “Trust Trina,” Davidson-Brooks said is running for this position because she wants to continue to serve her community and make history for the 16th district.
“One of the reasons I wanted to run is because this district has never had a female circuit court judge, nor has it had an African American circuit court judge,” Davidson-Brooks said. “If elected, this would be the first time that this district has elected a female, an African American as their judge, and that would make history in our district.”
Several members of the DA’s office showed their support for Davidson-Brooks at Tuesday’s press conference, including District Attorney Scott Colom, who Davidson-Brooks has worked alongside for six years. If elected, Davidson-Brooks will preside as judge over upcoming cases that Colom will oversee.
“I’m very proud of her because I know the citizens can trust her to be fair and to be just and to make the community safe and everybody proud,” Colom said.
Davidson-Brooks will join Mark Cliett, Michelle Easterling and Bennie Jones Jr. in the race for the Clay and Noxubee counties’ judge position. Only one candidate has qualified so far for each of the Lowndes and Oktibbeha county positions — incumbent James T. Kitchens and Lee J. “Jay” Howard, respectively. Qualifying deadline is Jan. 31.
The circuit court judge general election will be Nov. 8.