TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

October 5, 2012

Williams says he’d consider judicial appointment

CORBIN — By Ronnie Ellis / CNHI News Service

Republican state Senate President David Williams said Thursday he will consider a judicial appointment if it’s offered.

It is the first time Williams, R-Burkesville, has commented publicly on the vacancy created by the death last month of long-time 40th Circuit Judge Eddie Lovelace. The circuit covers Clinton, Cumberland and Monroe counties.

Williams issued a statement through his spokeswoman, Lourdes Baez-Schrader.

“If there is an appointment offer, Sen. Williams will consider it,” she said.

Since the vacancy occurred after Aug. 6, the process for filling it is for a judicial nominating commission to be convened. That panel will select three qualified candidates and submit their names to Gov. Steve Beshear. The governor will then choose one to fill the vacancy.

The nominating commission was announced Thursday. It will be chaired by state Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton. Other members are Catherine Capps and Gary Lee, both of Burkesville; Helena Pitcock and Jarrett Stephens of Tompkinsville; and Steve Morgan of Albany. The commission is scheduled to meet Oct. 26.

Williams, who has presided over the Senate since 2000, and Beshear have battled on multiple issues and political fronts since Beshear was elected governor in 2007 on a platform that included a promise to put a constitutional amendment on expanding gambling before voters. The measure has never gotten out of the General Assembly and Beshear has blamed Williams for its failure. But, in one case if failed in the Democratic House and in another received a floor vote in the Senate, but fell far short of the necessary vote total.

Williams has also battled Beshear on the budget and over Beshear’s decision to move to a managed care system of delivering Medicaid services. Meanwhile, Beshear has twice used his power to appoint incumbent Republican senators to more lucrative state jobs to create vacancies, one of which was won by a Democrat and the other by a Republican.

Each time, Williams criticized the governor’s use of his appointment power to try to weaken the majority Republican Party’s control in the state Senate.

Then in 2011, Williams challenged Beshear for governor and lost badly.

Since the news of Lovelace’s death and the judicial vacancy, Frankfort has been abuzz about the possibility of Beshear appointing Williams to fill it, thereby removing Williams as an obstacle to his agenda.

Last week, Beshear said Williams is qualified to fill the position and he previously said he would consider naming Williams to fill the vacancy, although he was careful each time to say he would consider all the nominees by the nominating commission.

If Williams were appointed and accepted the position, it could boost his retirement significantly. He also may have tired of the legislative battles and after losing the gubernatorial election be looking for other opportunities. He’s long been rumored to be interested in a seat on the bench, although for a time it was thought he was more interested in the federal bench, something not likely so long as there is a Democratic president.

Williams’ departure would affect more than Beshear’s prospect for passing expanded gambling.  It might set off a battle for a successor and control of the Republican caucus. Even if the caucus avoids a fight and settles on a consensus candidate for president, that person will have a difficult time matching Williams’ record in holding the caucus together and usually speaking with a unified voice.

While Beshear and horse racing interests blame Williams for “gridlock” and being an “obstructionist,” many Republicans and other Frankfort observers say Williams has been an effective and savvy legislator whose party dominated the Frankfort agenda although it controlled only one branch of the General Assembly.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cannon man indicted for rape

    By John L. Ross
    Staff Writer
    A Cannon man facing first-degree rape and other charges has now been indicted in this case.

    July 28, 2014

  • Knox grand jury indicts accused store burglar

    By John L. Ross
    Staff Writer
    A man facing several charges in connection with the burglary of Cope’s Market was indicted Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man accused of Woodbine shooting appears in court

    By John L. Ross
    Staff Writer
    A Woodbine man indicted for first-degree assault after allegedly shooting a man in the face appeared in Knox County Circuit Court Friday for a pre-trial conference.

    July 28, 2014

  • TODAY'S HEADLINES, July 28, 2014

    Cannon man indicted for rape: Charges include theft for reportedly taking the victim’s car

    Knox grand jury indicts accused store burglar

    Man accused of Woodbine shooting appears in court

    So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking

    The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title

     

    July 28, 2014

  • 0726 thunderbolt for web.jpg Tales of the Thunderbolt

    The soft whistle of a flute floated through the room as audience members listened in awe to tales of the Thunderbolt people.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jaynes sentenced to 20 years for murder

    A hush swept across the Knox County Circuit courtroom Friday afternoon — all that was heard was the jangle of ankle shackles hitting the bare floor as convicted murderer Angela Jaynes approached the podium for her official sentencing hearing.

    July 27, 2014

  • Five people indicted for murder

    Five people arrested in connection with the May shooting death of 29-year-old Donald Mills were all officially charged with the murder on two separate indictments Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.

    July 27, 2014

  • Man in court for stealing from Bingham Tire

    A Pineville man charged with stealing more than $125,000 in inventory from Bingham Tire in Barbourville over a two-year period appeared Friday before Judge Gregory Lay in Knox County Circuit Court.

    July 27, 2014

  • POLICE ROUNDUP: Sheriff’s office searching for wanted London man

    A London man has found himself on the Laurel County Sheriff Department’s most wanted list, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
    Detective Billy Madden is searching for Jamie Elam, 34.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0725 Honor Guard FOR WEB.jpg Hundreds attend military funeral service for Dirk Shelton

    Whenever America needed him, Staff Sergeant Dirk Thomas Shelton always answered the call.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter