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Petition to have judge candidate removed from ballot denied

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 17:42:31-04

A petition to have a Kentucky judge candidate removed from the November ballot was denied on Wednesday.

Candidate Rob Johnson is running to serve as circuit court judge for the circuit that serves Woodford, Scott and Bourbon counties. But some have questioned how Johnson could serve as judge when his wife, Sharon Muse-Johnson is the commonwealth’s attorney for the same circuit.

Muse-Johnson’s office prosecutes all the felony criminal cases in the circuit, so Johnson would not be able to ethically preside over those cases if elected.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Johnson’s attorney argued that Johnson is still qualified to serve as judge, and that there weren’t legal grounds for the court to remove him from the ballot.

The attorney for the petitioners acknowledged that courts should not routinely intervene in elections, but argued that Johnson did not meet the constitutional requirements to be on the bench.

In the end, Judge Hunter Daugherty said it is important for voters to be informed of the issues in this situation, but that ultimately it should be up to those voters to decide who ends up being elected.