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Only since July Allison Jones has been sitting on the bench for the 6th Appellate District, Division 1 of the state Court of Appeals, but she already is out campaigning to keep that job.
Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Jones, 38, a resident of Oldham County, to fulfill the unexpired term of Justice Michelle M. Keller, who in April had moved up to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Jones has filed her intention to run for office, a precursor for the formal filing that can’t take place until Nov. 6, and she has hit the road to get to know people in her district’s 21 counties, including Shelby.
“I’ve met with all sorts of people – the county clerk, the sheriff,” she said on a recent visit to Shelbyville. “With twenty-one counties, that’s a lot of ground to cover.
“I’ve been traveling around as many places as I can, getting to know people...Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea Party members. I have to get to know everyone.”
The judicial races are non-partisan, and there only would be a primary if more than two candidates file for office. If there is a primary in May, the top two vote-getters would be on the ballot in November.
Jones said that although she has been an appellate judge for a short time, she can point to her role presiding over workers’ compensation claims as an administrative law judge. She also served as a staff attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky for more than five years and served as a law clerk/attorney for U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II of the Western District of Kentucky.
“I have a record to run on,” she said.
Before her judicial service in federal and state courts, Jones practiced at Stites & Harbison PLLC, focusing on business and intellectual property matters. She received her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where she graduated magna cum laudeand was a member of the Kentucky Law Review, the Moot Court Board and the Trial Advocacy Team. Her undergraduate degree is from Transylvania University.
Jones and her husband, Lawrence, also an attorney, have two children, Riley, 8, and Reed, 5.
The candidate: Allison Jones
PARTY: Non-partisan race
CURRENT ROLE: Incumbent
EDUCATION: Undergraduate, Transylvania; law degree, UK
FAMILY: Husband, Lawrence, 2 children