By Christina Huck, senior journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
In a swearing in ceremony in Oxford on Tuesday, Toccopola, Mississippi, resident Josiah Dennis Coleman took his oath of office as the Mississippi Supreme Court Justice for District 3. His father, Judge Thomas A. Coleman, a Mississippi Court of Appeals judge, administered the oath to his son before a gathering of family, friends and supporters at the Lafayette County Courthouse.
State and local dignitaries present for the ceremony included Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William L. Waller, Circuit Court Judge James L. Roberts, Lafayette County Sheriff Buddy East and Rev. Alan Cochet.
“We’ve heard remarks today on my family history, and I am very proud of that,” Colman said. “The other history that I now get to join is the history of this state.”
Turning to wife, Ashleigh and daughter, Merrimac, during the ceremony, Coleman said, “Ashleigh was with me the entire time. She supported me. She encouraged me.”
Coleman won the seat in the November election with 58 percent of the vote. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss School of Law.
The Coleman family has a long history in Mississippi politics. His grandfather, Ackerman native James P. Coleman, also served as a Mississippi State Supreme Court justice, and was elected governor of Mississippi in 1956. He later won a House seat and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives, making him the only Mississippi politician in history to serve in all three branches of Mississippi state government.