Karl Banks
Karl Banks
A motions hearing has been scheduled mid-November by the new judge in the nearly two-year-old District 4 supervisor election challenge between Karl Banks and David Bishop.

Retired Circuit Judge Richard McKenzie of Hattiesburg has set a hearing for 9 a.m. on Nov. 16 in Canton to rule on a stack of motions held over from when Judge Henry Lackey presided over the case.

McKenzie was appointed Sept. 26 by the Mississippi Supreme Court following recusal by Lackey on Sept. 21.

The election contest will hit the two-year mark next month. It began when Banks, a Democrat, contested the final results of the Nov. 3, 2015, general election where certified results show Bishop, a Republican, won by two votes.

Banks, who served 32 years as supervisor, is challenging the results and contends that 31 votes were counted, but not included in the final vote tally. Bishop, however, has contended all along that the final vote is the true vote and he is the rightful winner.

Part of the reason for the delay in this trial can be attributed to a motion by Banks to have Lackey recuse himself, which was made on May 31, 2016. At the time, Lackey denied the motion to recuse himself and the matter went all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which later ruled in October 2016, that Lackey did not have to recuse himself.

In February, Lackey ordered a jury trial to be held immediately but no trial was ever held. Lackey’s last hearing date was set for Sept. 1 but was ultimately cancelled.