Shepherd claims victory in closely watched Kentucky judge race

Shepherd claims victory in closely watched Kentucky judge race
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 9:12 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 9:13 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - One of the most closely watched races was a judge race in Franklin County.

Judge Phillip Shepherd has been Franklin Circuit Judge for 16 years, but he was challenged by Joe Bilby, an attorney who was backed by some in the Republican establishment.

The was a race that was only on Franklin County ballots, but the judge’s position deals with issues that impact the entire state. If there is a legal question over something that happens in the legislature or if there’s a lawsuit impacting laws passed, it usually lands in the Franklin Circuit Court.

A lot of money was spent when Bilby said he was going to challenge Judge Shepherd, but Judge Shepherd claimed victory.

“A great victory. I think what is going through my mind is just a great sense of gratitude for this community for them giving me the opportunity to serve,” Shepherd said.

It is a nonpartisan race, but Bilby had the support of many in the Republican establishment who were not pleased with some of the decisions that backed Governor Andy Beshear in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic or went against laws passed by the Republican-led legislature.

“I don’t view that as a partisan matter. We have a system of checks and balances. So, when the courts have to step in to correct an overreach of the legislature, or the executive branch, there’s going to be pushback,” Shepherd said.

Judge Shepherd said he is looking forward to getting back to work on Wednesday.