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Appeals Court Judge from Bowling Green elected to Kentucky Supreme Court

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Voters have chosen a Kentucky Appeals Court judge to join the state Supreme Court.

Kelly Thompson won the 2nd district seat, which encompasses 17 counties stretching
north from the Tennessee border to the Ohio River.

While he replaces Chief Justice John Minton, Jr. of Bowling Green, Thompson says he won’t seek the top post on the high court.

“I will not be the chief justice. It’s a tremendous amount of work," Thompson told WKU Public Radio. "This is my last election. I’m an old man and it’s an eight-year term. I will not run again, I promise you.”

The seven justices will decide in January who will lead the court after Justice Minton’s retirement.

Thompson practiced law in Bowling Green from 1974 until his election to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2006.

Thompson praised his opponent, Bowling Green attorney Shawn Marie Alcott, for running a positive campaign.

However, Thompson said he’s concerned by the amount of special interest groups pouring money into non-partisan judicial races this election season. Thompson added that he fears dark money will eventually buy the court system that hears challenges to weighty issues like abortion and redistricting.

“We operate on very low budgets, each of the political campaigns for judges," commented Thompson. "When people can bring in a half-million dollars, they can severely influence an election, and we’ve got to do something about it.”

Organizations like the conservative Fair Courts America, the Republican State Leadership Committee for Judicial Fairness and the progressive Liberty & Justice for Kentucky are contributed funds to judicial campaigns.

The organizations can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, companies, or groups and then spend the funds on advertisements like mailers and TV commercials.

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Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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