December 22, 2023

Judge Kent McDaniel named to fill Judge Thomas Broome’s seat

Special to Darkhorse Press

Judge Kent McDaniel
Judge Kent McDaniel

Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel will take the oath of office to continue his work as Youth Court judge at 10 a.m. Dec. 28. Judge McDaniel will be sworn in along with other Rankin County officials. The ceremony will be held in the large Circuit Court courtroom at 301 E. Government Street in Brandon.

            Gov. Tate Reeves appointed Judge McDaniel to fill the vacancy created by the death of County Court and Youth Court Judge Thomas Broome. Judge McDaniel’s one-year appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2024, and will end on Jan. 5, 2025. The Governor scheduled a special election for Nov. 5, 2024, for the Place 2 judgeship on the Rankin County Court.

            Judge McDaniel retired Sept. 30, 2021, after 24 years of service as Rankin County Court Judge. He returned to the bench on April 20 by appointment of the Supreme Court as a special judge to assist after Judge Broome became ill. Judge Broome died May 21. The Special Judge appointment by the Supreme Court is scheduled to end Dec. 31.

            Rankin County Court Judge David Morrow Jr. said, “Judge McDaniel has a true servant’s heart. His willingness to answer the Governor’s call to help the troubled youth and families of Rankin County is an answered prayer. We are all better as a Rankin County community because of his desire to serve.” 

            Judge Morrow will administer the oath for Judge McDaniel to begin the gubernatorial appointment.

            Judge McDaniel has 40 years of public service. He began his career of state public service with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as one of the original agents in 1972. He worked undercover for three years, then supervised investigations in 27 counties in south Mississippi.

            He was Deputy Commissioner of Corrections 1979-1980. His duties included dealing with the budget and Legislative appropriations for MDOC.

            In 1980, he became director of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy. He served as director until 1986. After that, he was in private law practice for about three years.

            He served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi from 1989 to 1995.  He returned to the private practice of law in 1995, and was Flowood Municipal Judge from November 1995 until his appointment to the Rankin County Court bench by former Gov. Kirk Fordice on Sept. 1, 1997. 

            Judge McDaniel served as chairman of the Conference of County Court Judges for more than 10 years. He was appointed to the Commission on Judicial Performance in January 2015. He was Commission Chairman when he stepped down shortly before his 2021 retirement.

            Judge McDaniel grew up in Sandersville in Jones County.  He graduated with honors from Belhaven College in 1969, then earned a master’s degree with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Mississippi College School of Law, graduating first in his class. In 2013, he was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from Mississippi College School of Law, where he served as an adjunct faculty member for 25 years, teaching trial practice.

            He served with the 20th Special Forces Group of the Mississippi Army National Guard from 1968-1973 and with the 112th MP Battalion, MANG, from 1973-1978,  leaving the service with the rank of First Lieutenant.

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