The longtime district attorney for Jackson, George and Greene counties has announced he is running for a seat on the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
Tony Lawrence, who took office over state prosecutions in the three-county region in 2003, announced his candidacy on Thursday.
He is running for the District 5, Place 1 seat, which represents an 11-county region: Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Pearl River, Perry and Stone counties and part of Wayne county. The Mississippi Supreme Court assigns cases to the appellate judges.
The seat is currently occupied by Judge Eugene Love Fair Jr. of Hattiesburg. Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Love to the seat in 2012 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William H. Myers.
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Lawrence has been an attorney for 28 years. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar Association in 1990.
The Pascagoula native is serving his fourth four-year term as DA.
Lawrence has been a board member of the Mississippi Prosecutor's Association for nine years and is co-chair of the MPA's Legislative Action Committee.
He has pushed for the passage of laws, such as the Lonnie Smith Act, which aims to prevent child abuse, and for laws that established degrees of murder and charges of attempted murder and accessory after the fact to murder.
Lawrence said he also pushed for efforts to create more ADA positions across the state.
Moss Point Mayor Mario King, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell and District Attorney Tony Lawrence held a press conference Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at City Hall to speak out against recent acts of violence in the city. John Fitzhughjcfitzhugh@sunherald.com