Seven local judicial offices – one in Jefferson Circuit Court, two in Jefferson Family Court and four in Jefferson District Court – will be decided by contested elections in 2018. As it has done in past years, the LBA recently polled Jefferson County attorneys for their opinions of the qualifications of candidates for these offices. The poll is designed to provide a measure of guidance to voters who might otherwise be unfamiliar with the candidates.

The poll was conducted electronically between March 21-30 with the assistance of BallotBox, an online survey technology company based in Austin, Texas. More than 4,400 members of the Kentucky Bar Association working and/or residing in Jefferson County were emailed a link to the poll with instructions to rate candidates with whom they have had substantial professional contact within the last two years. Attorneys were asked to consider the candidates’ integrity, temperament, demeanor, legal ability, impartiality, industry, diligence and promptness and then rate them in one of these categories: “Highly Qualified,” “Qualified” or “Unqualified.” Attorneys could also select “Do Not Know Candidate” if unfamiliar with a candidate or “Not Rated” if they could not objectively rate a candidate for any reason. All responses were anonymous.

A total of 849 attorneys completed the poll. Results are shown in the accompanying chart.

The LBA has conducted judicial candidate polls regularly since 1982. The intent is not to endorse any particular candidate, but rather to inform the public of the opinions of attorneys actively practicing in Jefferson County of candidates’ fitness to serve in the judicial offices to which they are seeking election. Because judges are different from other elected officials, and often not well known to the electorate, the polls are offered as a public service to help voters make informed decisions in judicial elections.