Jackson County

Experience wins judge race in Jackson, George, Greene counties. Plus, a school board shake-up.

It has been “a long year of campaigning,” attorney Tanya Hasbrouck said, and she has come out on top to take her place as Chancery Court judge for Jackson, George and Greene counties.

She was the high vote-getter in a field of four candidates three weeks ago in the general election, but faced a runoff with attorney Ashlee Cole Trehern on Tuesday. She won 23,338 to Trehern’s 16,592, with most of the absentee and affidavit ballots still to be counted in the three counties.

Hasbrouck took more than 60 percent of the vote in Jackson County, the most populated.

It was a cold day for last-minute campaigning Tuesday, but Hasbrouck, 57, started early at VT Halter shipyard and stood with supporters at several polling places in Jackson County.

She told the Sun Herald, her experience in the field of Chancery Court law is what makes her invaluable at a time when the court is replacing two of its sitting judges. Attorney Mark Maples of Lucedale won the other Chancery Court post in the general election.

“This is just a good, next-step progression,” Hasbrouck said, about stepping into her place on the Chancery Court. “We need someone with experience and someone to protect the children, the grandchildren and the elderly.... someone who has worked in the courts, knows how to work with people and has raised a child.”

She said she’s ready to make the tough decisions that come to Chancery Court, “some of them heart-wrenching.”

Hasbrouck began her professional career as a registered nurse and then became an attorney.

She has been practicing law for 28 years and has held jobs that served the public full-time for 15 of those years.

With her private law practice in Pascagoula, she handled family law, Social Security disability and youth court. She has been the board attorney for the West Jackson Utility District in St. Martin and public defender for the cities of Gautier and Pascagoula.

Before that, she was an assistant district attorney for 12 years in Jackson, George and Greene counties — nine under Tony Lawrence and three under Dale Harkey.

She worked for Cumbest, Cumbest, Hunter and McCormick, as well as Bryant, Colingo, Williams and Clark and was an assistant public defender for Jackson County for two years.

She is past president of the Jackson County Bar Association and past president of Jackson County Young Lawyers and currently serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Center for Legal Services. She lives in Pascagoula and has one son in his third year of college.

Shakeup in school board runoff

A young accountant has unseated longtime Pascagoula-Gautier School District board member Dan Marks to represent Gautier on the board.

Kleon Irving, 37, who has been an accountant with Ingalls shipyard for 13 years, garnered 1,987 votes to Marks’ 1,843 for 52 percent of the vote.

Irving is the first graduate of Gautier High School to represent the city on the school board and will add an African-American presence to a board that is all white.

Marks has lead the school district as president and represented Gautier for almost three decades.

“I’ll bring new ideas to the community,” Irving said. He has the goal of making it a top-ranked school district with an emphasis of “making sure the kids are college and career ready.”

County-by-county numbers

Jackson County

Hasbrouck 19,258

Trehern 12,601

George County

Hasbrouck 2,714

Trehern 2,631

Greene County

Hasbrouck 1,366

Trehern 1,359

Karen Nelson can be reached at 228-896-2310 or @NelsonNews_atSH