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JUDICIAL ELECTIONS: Jefferson County District & Circuit Court Races - King, Cunningham, Bowles, and Smith prevail
By Michael Stevens
Jefferson county district and circuit courts
King ousts Holton in tight district court race
By Jason Riley ? firstname.lastname@example.org ? November 5, 2008
In what was arguably one of the most anticipated -- and expensive -- races for a local judicial seat in recent memory, Katie King, a 29-year-old assistant county attorney, narrowly defeated Judge David Holton for the 16th division seat on Jefferson District Court.
King -- who won 52 percent of the vote -- has practiced law one year longer than the two years required for the job.
But she was a tireless campaigner with name recognition -- her father is Metro Council President Jim King -- and she spent more than $210,000 on the campaign.
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Other court races
There was less suspense in the race for a seat on Jefferson Circuit Court, which was vacated by Denise Clayton, who is now on the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
Charlie Cunningham, who was appointed to fill Clayton's spot, cruised past former Judge William Douglas Kemper.
Cunningham, who suffered a tough defeat in a 2006 judicial race, said last night's victory was built in part on the work he and his supporters did two years ago.
"It was a much more pleasant way to spend the evening," said Cunningham of last night's results. "It feels real good."
Kemper, a former prosecutor in the Jefferson commonwealth's attorney's office who served nine months as a judge in 2006, said he would not run again.
"That is my professional dream, but my family is my passion," he said. "And I've sacrificed too much of my family life to pursue my dream."
In Jefferson District Court Division 2, longtime public defender Ann Bailey Smith easily defeated attorney John VanderToll.
In an interview, Smith said she is "excited and humbled" to serve as a judge. "It has been exhausting," she said of the campaign, "but I have met some wonderful people all across the county."
And in District Court Division 8, David Bowles edged out Anne Dedman Watkins, a prosecutor in the Jefferson County attorney's office, to succeed Judge Deborah Deweese.
D. Stephen Parks and Theodore "Ted" Shouse rounded out the field.
Bowles, a former Jefferson County police officer, said he was "thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the community."
Watkins said she was encouraged by her showing in her first judicial race and hopes that it will pay off in the future. "There will be a next time," she said.
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