The Newton Record - "Kitchens seeks support for high court race"
Jim Kitchens, a candidate for State Supreme Court was in Newton last week to round up some support for that seat and speak with The Newton Record.
Kitchens, a former district attorney with 40 years practicing law, formally announced his candidacy. Kitchens said his decision to run was rooted in the desire to uphold and protect the integrity of the courts.
"I think we need to restore public confidence in our courts in Mississippi and I think I can do that," Kitchens said. "I have served in the court system most of my life."
Kitchens said people who know him trust him and think he can bring a level of trust and integrity to the court and says we have some good people in the Supreme Court now but thinks he can enhance what is already there and make it better.
Newton Record: Why do you think people have lost their trust in the court system?
"I think it is an accumulative thing but recently we have had some scandal from judges and lawyers in Mississippi and that is distatesful to most people in Mississippi, including me," Kitchens said. "Overtime people have seen longer delays in the judicial system, and they don't like the high cost of campaigns. People know the judges can find out if they want to who gave them money or who gave money to their opponents and that is not right, I think that has to be reformed."
Newton Record: What do you think you have to offer the Supreme Court seat that the other opponents can't?
"I have worked hard all my life and will work hard to move the cases quickly through the court," Kitchens said. "I try to do justice in everything I do, I don't have an agenda except the rule of law. We have to follow the law and judges shouldn't make up the law therefore we need to restore public confidence in our courts."
Kitchens said. "I woiuld like to promote a discussion about how we finance campaigns in Mississippi. A judge should not know how a component got financed or who gave a contribution. This should be a blind system where a judge can not know about the money. That should never be a factor consciously or subconciously how a judge rules on a case.
Kitchens is a lifelong resident of Copiah County. He was elected to three terms as D.A. for Copiah, Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties. He has served 40 years as an attorney in Mississippi.
Kitchens and his wife, Mary, will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this summer. They have five children and five grandchildren, with a sixth grandchild expected this year.