Circuit Court Judge Rene Williams has thrown her name into the ring for the battle over a position on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, 1st District, 1st Division. That seat was left vacant when judge Shea Nickell was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court in November.

Williams has served in her current post as 5th Judicial Circuit (Crittenden, Union and Webster counties) Court Judge since November 2004. She has been the chief regional circuit judge for the Purchase Region since being appointed by Chief Justice Minton in 2007. Prior to becoming circuit court judge, she served as the district judge for the three counties from January 1990 until November 2004.

J.R. “Jason” Coltharp, Jenny Hines and Chris McNeill have also filed for the position. The four candidates will appear on the primary election ballot on May 19, when the field will be narrowed to two candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.

Court of Appeals judges serve statewide but are elected regionally. The 1st District consists of 24 counties: Allen, Ballard, Butler, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Edmonson, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Hopkins, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Simpson, Todd, Trigg and Webster.

With the election not taking place until November, it will fall to new Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to name an interim judge to feel the seat until that time.

When a vacancy occurs in the court of appeals outside of the election cycle, the Judicial Nominating Commission, a seven members panel comprised of the chief justice of Kentucky, two attorneys elected by the attorneys in the vacancy’s jurisdiction and four non-attorney Kentucky citizens appointed by the governor, will review applications from interested judge’s and recommend three to the governor.

The governor then has 60 days to select an appointee.




 at 270-667-2068 or