No such thing as bad publicity in judicial races - WDRB 41 Louisville News

No such thing as bad publicity in judicial races

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LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- Perhaps there really is no such thing as bad publicity - at least that seemed the case for local judicial candidates this year.

In August, a national blog called Jefferson District Court Judge Sandra McLaughlin “possibly the worst judge alive” after a story by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting pointed out that McLaughlin was not only the lowest-rated judge in the county but had repeatedly belittled people who came before her and refused to provide public defenders for some indigent defendants.

No matter. McLaughlin won re-election easily, beating challenger Matthew Eckert 56 percent to 44 percent. McLaughlin did not return a phone message left on her cell phone.

Also, Gina Kay Calvert, who was criticized for complaining on the bench about not getting the endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police, easily beat Susan Jones to regain her seat.

And Katie King, long a lightning rod of controversy, most recently over donations she made to her own campaign, trounced challenger Claudia Ann Smith, 61 percent to 39 percent.

There was an upset, however, as longtime District Court Judge Donald Armstrong was beaten by challenger Jennifer Leibson, 55 percent to 45 percent. Armstrong has been on the bench since 1999.

In other District Court races, former prosecutor Anne Delahanty beat Assistant County Attorney Ann Schiavone Dyke; David Bowles held off Josephine Buckner 52 percent to 48 percent; Erica Williams won against Dana Cohen; Annette Karem beat Nichole Compton; Stephanie Burke crushed Andre Bergeron; Amber Wolf bested Josh Schneider and Eric Haner beat James Green.

In Family Court, Deana "Dee" McDonald won handily over Mark Gaston Sr.; Denise Brown beat Dennis Burke; A. Christine Ward received little challenge from S.L. Morgan White; Deborah Deweese won re-election over Ellie Kerstetter; Angela Johnson beat Lauren Adams Ogden and Tara Hagerty easily defeated Stuart Scherer.

Also in Circuit Court, Judge Barry Willett easily won re-election over Stuart Pearlman and Ann Bailey Smith beat Sandy Berman for retiring Judge Fred Cowan's spot.

And Judge Denise Clayton kept her spot as an Appeals Court judge, beating Stan Whetzel 72 percent to 28 percent. 

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