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Updated: Dan Kelly appointed judge by governor, special elections set for Dec. 8

October 26, 2009
B DanKelly Mug

State Sen. Dan Kelly, a Springfield Republican (LRC photo)

State Sen. Dan Kelly, the Springfield Republican who until recently was majority floor leader, has been appointed judge by Gov. Steve Beshear.

Beshear announced the appointment today after Kelly and two other attorneys were nominated for the slot on Friday.

From the governor’s office –

Gov. Steve Beshear announced today the appointment of State Senator Dan Kelly as a judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit. Sen. Kelly was among three names submitted to Gov. Beshear by the seven-member nominating commission.

“Sen. Kelly has the appropriate temperament and experience for this position,” said Gov. Beshear. “I feel confident he will provide fair, honest and judicious service to the people of the 11th Judicial Circuit.”

Representing the 14th Senate District since 1991, Sen. Kelly has a distinguished career that includes service on the legislative interim committees of Agriculture, Appropriations and Revenue, Education, Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Task Force, Elementary and Secondary Education, Horse Farming, Local Government and State Government; the legislative session committees of Agriculture, Appropriations and Revenue and State and Local Government; and the legislative statutory Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee. In addition, with the present rank of Lt. Colonel, he has been awarded the United States Army Meritorious Service Medal Army Commendation Medal and two National Defense Service Medals. He received his law degree from the University of Louisville.

The appointment sets up a special election for Kelly’s seat in the Republican-controlled Senate. Beshear has made no secret he would like to see control of the chamber return to Democratic hands, particularly given his push for a bill allowing slot machines at race tracks that has found little support among Senate Republican leadership.

Kelly is the second high-profile Republican Beshear has appointed to a state position. Earlier this year, he appointed Sen. Charlie Borders to the Public Service Commission. Borders’ seat was won by Democrat Robin Webb, who had been serving in the state House.

Updated, 1 p.m. CST

Beshear has set the special elections to fill Kelly’s seat in the Senate and Webb’s seat in the House for Dec. 8.

From Beshear’s office –

Gov. Steve Beshear today set the date for two special elections to fill two vacant legislative seats.

The vacancy in the 96th district of the House of Representative is the result of the resignation of Rep. Robin Webb, who resigned having been elected to represent the 18th district of the State Senate. The special election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 for the district that encompasses Carter and Lewis counties.

The vacancy in the 14th State Senate district is the result of the resignation of Sen. Dan Kelly, whom Gov. Beshear named to a judgeship in the 11th Judicial Circuit. The special election will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 for the district that encompasses Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor, Washington counties.

KRS 118.730 dictates that governor must issue the writ for a special election for a member of the General Assembly, if the vacancy occurs when the legislature is not in session.

In accordance with KRS 118.760, nominations to fill vacancies at special elections are made pursuant to the governing authority of the party in the territory which the election is to be held. Petitions and certificates of nomination may be filed 28 days before the day of election, and if filed with the Secretary of State, shall be immediately certified by the Secretary of State to the proper county clerks per KRS 118.770.

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