, Corbin, KY

State News

October 26, 2012

Williams nominated for judgeship

CORBIN — By Ronnie Ellis / CNHI News Service

It was probably the least surprising news in recent Kentucky politics but a judicial nominating committee Thursday named David Williams as one of three nominees for a vacant judgeship in the 40th Circuit.

The seven-member committee also nominated Angela Capps, a public defender, and retired district court judge Stephen Douglas Hurt.

The three names now go to Gov. Steve Beshear who will name one of the nominees to fulfill the unexpired term of Judge Eddie Lovelace who died several weeks ago. The circuit serves Cumberland, Clinton and Monroe counties.

“I am appreciative of the nomination and if the Governor appoints me, I will accept the position,” said Williams in a statement released by his Senate office.

Williams has been a political nemesis for Beshear who blames the Republican Senate President for blocking his legislative priority of expanded gambling. The two men have barely disguised their mutual disdain and Beshear routed Williams by 22 points in the 2011 governor’s race.

Nevertheless, Beshear has said he considers Williams qualified for the position and will consider appointing any nominee presented him by the nominating commission.

If Williams is named to the position and serves for three years or more, he can use the higher judicial salary to calculate his state pension benefits based on his total years of service in both the legislature and on the bench. That would significantly increase his retirement benefits.

Whoever is named, the new judge won’t have to run for re-election for two years.

Beshear has 60 days to announce his decision. His spokeswoman, Kerri Richardson, said the governor’s office received the nominations but would make no announcement Thursday.

While the governor has two months to make the appointment, he faces pressure from multiple directions on the timing of his decision. Democrats in the state House would prefer Beshear to wait until after the Nov. 6 election to name Williams so they can try to make him an election in their races – even though Williams isn’t on this year’s ballot and doesn’t affect the leadership or decisions in the House which is currently controlled by Democrats.

But the annual Kentucky Circuit Judges College is set to begin Monday and run through Oct. 31. That is an annual training and continuing education program operated by the Administrative Office of the Courts and would be useful to someone about to begin service on the bench.

The speculation about the departure of Williams from the Senate has also set off maneuvering by his Republican colleagues for leadership positions and ultimately for someone to succeed him as Senate President.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at

Text Only
State News
  • Grimes comes out firing on McConnell

    Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State who is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in this fall’s elections, went after the five-term incumbent in a speech here to a convention of local county officials.

    July 11, 2014

  • Conway, Comer address judge-execs

    It might have been a preview of next year’s Kentucky governor’s election — but county officials here for a convention probably didn’t expect one likely candidate to endorse a potential opponent.

    July 11, 2014

  • McConnell, Grimes parade cases

    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes know a good place to look for votes when they see it.

    July 7, 2014

  • McConnell, Grimes disagree on contraception case

    Kentucky’s Republican congressman praised Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that corporations may opt out of a requirement to provide employees contraceptive coverage through insurance plans.

    July 1, 2014

  • Beshear sings praises of Affordable Care Act

    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear told a Washington conference Tuesday that Kentucky’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act has been “life-changing” for thousands of Kentucky enrollees and “transformative” for Kentucky.

    June 18, 2014

  • Kentucky actually fares well under new EPA regs

    Kentucky politicians and the coal industry howled about the latest installment of greenhouse gas emission regulations issued last week by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    June 16, 2014

  • New EPA C02 regs examined

    Given their complexity and potential impact in coal-dependent states like Kentucky, there’s considerable confusion about new carbon emission regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    June 16, 2014

  • State budget officials predict ‘significant shortfall’

    With only 20 days left in the 2014 fiscal year, state budget officials announced Tuesday Kentucky faces an “inevitable” and “significant” revenue shortfall in both the General and Road Funds.

    June 11, 2014

  • Grimes ad blasts Obama for coal policies

    Mitch McConnell is no longer the only U.S. Senate candidate running against Democratic President Barack Obama.

    June 5, 2014

  • Legislative leaders blast carbon regs

    President Barack Obama’s efforts to rein in carbon emissions, blamed by science for changes in the climate, continues to draw harsh criticism from both political parties in Kentucky.

    June 5, 2014