Gavel Grab

Race for Eastern Kentucky’s State Supreme Court Seat Gets Ugly

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott narrowly won a judicial race eight years ago against then Supreme Court Justice Janet Stumbo. The two are once again running against each other in this year’s election, and the rematch “is no nicer,” a Lexington Herald-Leader article says.

In his TV advertisements, Scott has accused Stumbo “of being soft on crime.” One such ad says that Stumbo voted to overturn the convictions of two black men for murdering a pregnant woman.

Stumbo is running an ad which says Scott voted against convicting a man of abusing his three children for confining them to their rooms without food, water or access to a bathroom.

The Kentucky Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee, which encourages judicial candidates to avoid false advertising, called Scott’s ad misleading because the images of pregnant white women it used were not involved in the case, the article reports.

The panel also said that Stumbo’s radio ad used incorrect language when describing the child abuse case. Stumbo has since asked media outlets to stop running the ad, but claims that Scott is continuing to run “100 percent misleading attack ads.”

Besides the contentious ads, the judicial race has been highly expensive as well. Stumbo reported $154,108 in total campaign receipts, and Scott reported a total of $240,919. Stumbo spent much of her own money on her campaign, the article notes.

Stumbo is considered a liberal contender while Scott is viewed as a conservative. However, Stumbo says “liberal and conservative are not labels that should be applied to judges.”

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