Republican Kentucky state Senator Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville on Friday filed to run for the First District state Supreme Court Justice seat.
The Christian County native has served as senator since 2013. He had an unsuccessful run for Attorney General against Democrat Andy Beshear in 2015 and withdrew from another run for the seat in January.
Westerfield said in a statement he launched his campaign to uphold the constitution and defend the rule of law in western Kentucky.
“The Supreme Court of Kentucky is the court of last resort in our Commonwealth,” Westerfield said. “We cannot afford to let passion or prejudice cloud our judgement at this level. We trust the Supreme Court to uphold and defend the rule of law and that is precisely what I commit to do as Kentucky’s next 1st District Judge.”
Judge Christopher Shea Nickell of McCracken County is also running for the nonpartisan seat. Nickell has practiced law for more than 20 years and currently serves on the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
At a campaign event last month in Madisonville, Nickell said he brings appellate experience as a judge and would like to bring that to use it for the people. “The Supreme Court, being the highest court in the land, is not a place to be learning on the job,” Nickell said.
Considering himself nonpartisan, Nickell says all candidates bring with them their life experiences. “When you put on the black robe and ascend to the bench as a judge or a justice, you take an oath and you attempt to be a fair and impartial judge to give everyone a day in court, so that even if they lose and they don’t prevail, that they at least feel like they’ve had a fair hearing,” Nickell said.
Governor Matt Bevin in March appointed former judge David Buckingham to temporarily fill the seat following Bill Cunningham’s retirement in January.