The retirement of Judge Michele Stengel from Division 4 of Jefferson District Court has drawn a record number of attorneys competing to succeed her. The November 3 ballot will include 21 candidates seeking election to her unexpired term which runs through 2018. The candidate with the highest vote total will win the right to take the bench as soon as the election results are certified.

The LBA’s Judicial Candidates Poll is designed to let voters know what attorneys think about the qualifications of those seeking judicial office. For the first time this year, the LBA disseminated the poll electronically through BallotBox Online, an electronic survey instrument created by and for attorneys. All responses remain anonymous.

The poll was e-mailed to approximately 4,600 members of the Kentucky Bar Association working and/or residing Jefferson County on August 20; the deadline to respond was September 2.

The attorneys were asked to rate the judicial candidates’ fitness to serve the office to which they are seeking election.

The candidates were rated in the following categories: Do Not Know Candidate, Not Rated, Highly Qualified, Qualified, Unqualified

The Judicial Candidates Poll has been conducted regularly by the LBA since 1982. The intent is not to endorse any particular candidate, but rather to inform the public on opinions of member of the legal community concerning the qualifications of judicial candidates. The poll seeks input only from attorneys who are actively practicing in Jefferson County.

Because judges are different from other elected officials, and often not well known to the general public, the LBA assists in providing reliable information to citizens through a poll of those who have had professional contact with the candidates for judicial office. 



Committee on Judicial Integrity to Monitor Campaigns

The LBA’s Committee on Judicial Integrity & Independence, formed in 2006 to help candidates for judicial office in Jefferson County conduct ethical and dignified campaigns, will again be monitoring activity for this election. The committee may consider matters pertaining to any campaign of which it becomes aware on its own initiative or as a result of a written complaint or request from any source. Committee members are not candidates for judicial office nor do they campaign for, publicly endorse or contribute financially to any candidates for judicial office.

The committee has called upon all candidates in this election to sign a pledge that they will not, among other things, misrepresent their identities or qualifications, engage in partisan attacks on their opponents or make statements that a reasonable person would perceive as committing themselves to rule in a certain way in a case, controversy or issue likely to come before them in court.

The candidates' names, listed in alphabetical order, are set forth below as they appear on the Judicial Candidates Poll. Candidates who have signed the pledge as of August 28, 2015 are indicated by an asterisk.


Daniel M. Alvarez*
Judith Bartholomew*
Andre L. Bergeron*
Sandy Berman*
Josephine Layne Buckner*
Dennis Clay Burke
Dawn Elliot*
R.A. Florio*
James Michael Green*
Bob Heleringer*
L.J. "Todd" Hollenbach*
Danny T. Karem*
Ellie Garcia Kerstetter*
Michael J. Leibson*
Ruth E. Lerner*
C. Fred Partin*
Chuck Rogers*
Ron Schwoeppe
J.P. Ward*
Erin C. White*
Benjamin F. Wyman*