Hearing held on Browning’s request for injunction – UPDATED

UPDATE 9-14-2015: Judge rules in Browning’s favor. See NAnewsweb story.

Update 9-11- 2015:

Circuit Judge John Gregory will not make a ruling until next week on Roger Browning’s motion asking the court to overrule the Union County Election Commission, the Union County Circuit Clerk’s office said at the close of business Friday.

Roger Browning

Roger Browning

Browning had been a Republican candidate for superintendent of the Union County School District. Last month the non-partisan election commission ruled Browning ineligible to serve as county schools superintendent because he lives outside the district. A hearing on Browning’s motion was held Thursday afternoon at the county courthouse.



Original story:

A candidate for county school superintendent, whose name was removed from the ballot by the county election commission, has asked a judge to put him back on.

Roger Browning of New Albany ran without opposition in the August 4th primary as the Republican candidate for Union County Superintendent of Education and, thus, became that party’s nominee.

Then it was discovered that Browning is not a resident of the Union County School District, but lives in the New Albany city school district. Browning says he did not know that he did not live in the county district. The non-partisan Union County Election Commission ruled last month that not being a resident of the county school district disqualifies Browning to serve as county superintendent.

Several years ago, a federal court ruled that voters who live in the New Albany city school district and who do not pay county school taxes cannot vote in elections for county superintendent.

Browning, represented by Oxford attorney James O’Donnell, asked the Union County Circuit Court for an injunction to put his name back on the ballot. On Browning’s behalf, O’Donnell argued to Circuit Court Judge John A. Gregory that not living in the school district does not disqualify Browning from serving as school superintendent. There is apparently no dispute as to the facts of Browning’s residency. The judge is being asked to resolve what some perceive as a conflict between various court rulings and statutes.

Attorney James Bell of Jackson represented incumbent County School Superintendent Ken Basil and the school district.             

Browning was principal of one of the schools in the Union County District until he resigned his position there several years ago. He currently works as Director of Retirement Living at Traceway Retirement Community in Tupelo.

Basil, a Democrat now serving his second term as county superintendent, won his party’s nomination in a primary run-off election on August 25th.

Time is growing short for printing ballots for the Nov. 3 election, and Judge Gregory indicated he will rule speedily.  A ruling on Browning’s injunction may come down on Friday, Sept. 11, and will be posted on NAnewsweb.com as soon as it is available.

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