Lafayette County residents will vote to elect the county’s first County judge on Nov. 8.
Eight local attorneys have qualified to run for the new seat. They include Steve Jubera, James B. Justice, Cornelia Fondren, Thomas A. Waller, Josh Turner, Ray Garrett, Tiffany Kilpatrick and Christine Tatum.
Over the next few days, Hotty Toddy News will be running profiles of each candidate, along with their answers to three questions that were presented to them.
Profile information was provided by each candidate to the Lafayette County Circuit Clerk’s Office and is also listed on the Election page of the Lafayette County website.
Steven Jubera has served as an Assistant District Attorney for the state of Mississippi since graduating Ole Miss School of Law in 2006. A United States Marine Corps veteran, he was deployed to the Middle East with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. After his honorable discharge, he earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois.
Jubera assisted in the formation of Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center in Southaven to provide critical services for children who have been or are being abused. He currently sits on the board of the Family Crisis Services of Northwest Mississippi, a child advocacy center that provides support to the children of Lafayette County and the surrounding area and assists law enforcement in the prosecution of child abuse. He has spoken several times as an advocate for children including at the One Loud Voice conference in Mississippi.
He currently is the chair of the Review Board for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson. In that role, Jubera and the board make recommendations to the bishop regarding allegations of clergy abuse. In 2020 he was nominated by the Bishop and appointed to the National Review Board to the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops where he offers his expertise on protecting from predators and protecting the most vulnerable among us.
He is married to Holly Dionne Jubera with four children, one son-in-law, and one grandson, with a second grandson on the way. Steven and Holly love to cook competitively in outdoor competitions. Jubera took this a step further by forming the Thacker Mountain BBQ Youth Crew, serving as a mentor to young men wanting to learn the art of barbecue. Steven and Holly are active in the community, most recently promoting the Velvet Ditch Steak Classic in Oxford to benefit Family Crisis.
1. Why are you running for County Judge?
Over the past 16 years I have served Mississippi as an Assistant District Attorney, prosecuting thousands of cases. Many of those are cases where children have been abused neglected or even worse. I made it a focus of my career to protect children and hold those who violate the law accountable. As the County Court Judge I will be in a position to hold those who harm children accountable, to use every tool available to me to prevent delinquent children from reoffending and to put children who have been neglected in the best position to thrive in life.
2. What makes you the best candidate?
I have served my country as a Marine, my family as a father and provider, my state as an assistant district attorney, and my church as a protector and faithful servant. I’ve been a leader throughout my life and the new County Court requires a leader.
3. With this being a new court for the county, what do you hope to accomplish with this position if elected?
It is my intention to establish an intervention court program to be utilized by the youth court as quickly as possible. I believe many delinquent youths would benefit from a very structured program focused on treatment with consequences for bad behavior. This not only applies to drug or alcohol abuse that so many young people suffer from but also serious mental illness. I intend to utilize the bond schedule set forth in the Rules of Criminal Procedure to ensure that bonds are fairly set in criminal cases that appear before me. I will do everything within my power to handle civil cases as rapidly as possible to resolve the conflicts.