Judicial Vacancies

Judicial Nominating Commission 

The Judicial Nominating Commission helps fill judicial vacancies by appointment when a vacancy occurs outside of the election cycle. The Kentucky Constitution established the Judicial Nominating Commission (KY. CONST. § 118; SCR 6.000, et seq.).

See vacancies below.  

Composition of Judicial Nominating Commissions

There are 61 nominating commissions in Kentucky, one for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, one for each judicial circuit and one for each judicial district. If the circuit and district have the same boundaries, then one commission serves both.

Each commission has seven members and is comprised of the chief justice of Kentucky (who serves as chair), two attorneys elected by all attorneys in the vacancy’s jurisdiction and four non-attorney Kentucky citizens who are appointed by the governor. The four citizens must equally represent the two major political parties.

JNC members must reside in the circuit or district they represent and may not hold any other public office or hold an office in a political party or organization. They serve four-year terms. Members reimbursed for expenses for the days they perform their duties but are not compensated for their services. The JNC executive secretary provides administrative support and maintains the records for the nominating commissions. 

Application Process

When a judicial vacancy occurs, the JNC executive secretary notifies all attorneys and the public in the affected judicial circuit or district. Attorneys can recommend someone or nominate themselves for the vacancy. Interested attorneys must complete an application and return it to the JNC executive secretary.

The chief justice meets with the JNC to select three nominees and then forwards those names to the governor. The names of the three nominees are listed in alphabetical order without indicating the commission’s preference. The governor must appoint a judge from this list of three. If the governor does not appoint a judge within 60 days of receiving the list of nominees, the appointment is made by the chief justice from the list of nominees.

Current Vacancies

25th Judicial District, Division 2

Vacancy for the 25th Judicial District, Clark and Madison counties

Appointee
Robert Vincent Jennings, Richmond

Nominees
Kristen Jane Clouse, Richmond
Robert Vincent Jennings, Richmond
Moriah Lloyd Tussey, Richmond

8th Judicial District, Division 1

Vacancy for the 8th Judicial District, Warren County

Appointee
Kimberly Jo Geoghegan, Bowling Green

Nominees
Jon Blakely Beliles, Bowling Green
Dwight Montae Burton, Bowling Green
Kimberly Jo Geoghegan, Bowling Green

9th Judicial District, Division 1

Vacancy for the 9th Judicial District, Hardin County

Appointee
Deborah Lewis (D.Dee) Shaw, Elizabethtown

Nominees
Ferrell Adkins, Elizabethtown
Donald Curtis Jones, Elizabethtown
Deborah Lewis (D.Dee) Shaw, Elizabethtown

12th Judicial District, Division 2

Vacancy for the 12th Judicial District, Henry, Oldham & Trimble counties

Appointee
Brittany Bailey McKenna, Prospect

Nominees
Brittany Bailey McKenna, Prospect
Valerie Anne Lammlein Shannon, La Grange
Gary Sutton Stewart, Crestwood

20th Judicial District

Vacancy for the 20th Judicial District, Greenup and Lewis counties

Appointee
Paul Eugene Craft, Russell

Nominees
Paul Eugene Craft, Russell
Rhese David McKenzie, Flatwoods
Matthew Jackson Warnock, Ashland

30th Judicial District, Division 12

Vacancy for the 30th Judicial District, Jefferson County

59th Judicial District

Vacancy for the 59th Judicial District, Ballard and Carlisle counties

counties

Appointee
Mark Stephen Medlin, Kevil

Nominees
Mark Stephen Medlin, Kevil
Dawn E. Stacy, Kevil
Grace Eleanor Stewart, Kevil

30th Judicial Circuit, Division 1

Vacancy for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County

Appointee
Eric Joseph Haner, Louisville

Nominees
Thomas Wesley “Wes” Faulkner, Louisville
Jessica Evonne Green, Louisville
Eric Joseph Haner, Louisville

25th Judicial Circuit, Division 2

Vacancy for the 25th Judicial Circuit, Clark and Madison counties

Appointee
Cole Adams Maier, Winchester   

Nominees
Dodd Douglas Dixon, Winchester

Cole Adams Maier, Winchester    
Jimmy Dale Williams, Richmond

52nd Judicial Circuit

Vacancy for the 52nd Judicial Circuit, Graves County

Appointee
Kevin D. Bishop, Mayfield

Nominees
Kevin D. Bishop, Mayfield
Royce W. Buck, Mayfield
Carlos Moran, Mayfield

30th Judicial Circuit, Division 1

Vacancy for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County

16th Judicial Circuit, Division 5, Family Court

Vacancy for the 16th Judicial Circuit, Kenton County

Appointee
Acena Johnson Beck, Covington

Nominees
Acena Johnson Beck, Covington
Thomas Anthony Rauf, Edgewood
Carol Lavonn Risk, Fort Wright

30th Judicial Circuit, Division 8, Family Court

Vacancy for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County

Appointee
Bryan Daniel Gatewood, Fisherville

Nominees
Bryan Daniel Gatewood, Fisherville
Christine Marie Miller, Louisville
Daren C. Neel, Louisville

28th Judicial Circuit, Division 2

Vacancy for the 28th Judicial Circuit, Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties

Appointee
John G. Prather Jr., Somerset

Nominees
John Boster Adams, Somerset
Eddy Frank Montgomery, Somerset
John G. Prather Jr., Somerset

30th Judicial Circuit, Division 2, Family Court

Vacancy for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County

Appointee
Shelley Montgomery Santry

Nominees
Bryan Daniel Gatewood, Fisherville
Douglas Scott Haynes, Louisville
Shelley Montgomery Santry, Louisville

49th Judicial Circuit, Division 1

Vacancy for the 49th Judicial Circuit, Allen and Simpson counties

Appointee

Mark Allen Thurmond

Nominees
Mark Allen Thurmond, Franklin
Clint Grainger Willis, Franklin
David Ray Cummins, Franklin

10th Judicial Circuit, Division 2

Vacancy for the 10th Judicial Circuit, Hart, Larue and Nelson counties

Appointee
Joseph “Joe” Guinan Ballard

Nominees
Joseph “Joe” Guinan Ballard, Bardstown
Audrey Leeann Haydon, Bardstown
Arch Cox McKay, III, Bardstown

20th Judicial Circuit, Division 1

Vacancy for the 20th Judicial Circuit, Greenup and Lewis counties

Appointee
Brian Christopher McCloud

Nominees
Paul Eugene Craft, Russell
Matthew Jackson Warnock, Ashland
Brian Christopher McCloud, Worthington

9th Judicial Circuit, Division 2

Vacancy for the 9th Judicial Circuit, Hardin County

Appointee
John David Simcoe

Nominees
Raymond Eric Carr, Elizabethtown
Teresa Elaine Logsdon, Elizabethtown
John David Simcoe, Elizabethtown

12th Judicial Circuit, Division 1

Vacancy for the 12th Judicial Circuit, Henry, Oldham and Trimble counties

Appointee
Jerry David Crosby II

Nominees
Jerry David Crosby II, Goshen
Kristen Hannah Fowler, Crestwood
Brittany Bailey McKenna, Prospect

Court of Appeals, 6th Appellate District, Division 2

​No vacancies at this time.