Kathy Stein accepts circuit judgeship appointment, which opens up 13th Senate District

10/14/2013 01:39 PM

UPDATED: Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday chose former Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, to the open Fayette Circuit judgeship, creating a vacancy in the Lexington Senate district for the second time in five years.

Stein had been mentioned for months as a potential successor to Jo Ann Wise, who retired this summer as circuit judge. Stein confirmed her interest in the judgeship in August.

On Monday, she told Pure Politics just minutes after the secretary of state signed the order that she was looking forward to serving.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity and a great responsibility,” Stein told Pure Politics in a phone interview.

The move to the circuit court creates a vacancy in the 13th state Senate district. Stein previously told Pure Politics that she will not be picking sides in that special election.

The 13th District covers downtown Lexington and favors Democrats. As Pure Politics reported, those who have expressed interest in that party’s nomination include Lexington-Fayette Urban County Councilman Chris Ford, Lexington chief administrative officer and former councilman Richard Moloney, and Democratic activist and former 88th House District candidate Reginald Thomas.

This marks the second time in five years Beshear has appointed a state Senator from the 13th Senate District to a judgeship.

“Senator Stein’s extensive legal experience and long tenure in the Legislature demonstrate her commitment to public service, and she is well-qualified for the position of Family Court judge in Fayette County,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement.

As for Stein she marks the fourth incumbent senator to announce her departure from the Senate, however Stein’s departure is immediate. Also leaving in 2014 are Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, and Sen. Bob Leeper, an Independent from Paducah.

“Sen. Stein has been a tireless advocate for her constituents in the 13th district, and I’m certain she will serve the Fayette County Circuit Court system with the same passion. I wish her well in her new endeavor,” Senate President Robert Stivers told Pure Politics in a statement.

Beshear called for a special election to replace Stein to take place on Tuesday, December 10.

Stein won a special election in 2008 to replace longtime Democratic Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, whom Beshear appointed as a family court judge.


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