A Franklin Circuit Court judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday to prevent the State Board of Elections from using votes for a deceased candidate in the saga of Jefferson County’s ninth division judicial race.
The motion to request the order was filed Friday by attorneys for Karen Faulkner, a candidate who finished third in the judicial race whose winner, Daniel Alvarez, died less than a day after beating three other candidates in a crowded primary election last month.
The temporary restraining order, issued Monday by Judge Phillip Shepherd, will prohibit the state from using Alvarez’s votes.
The case will be back in Franklin court in two weeks, June 18, when Shepherd is expected to make his final ruling.
In the meantime, the judge’s order will also prevent the state from issuing a certification of nomination solely to Tanisha Hickerson, who came in second place in the primary. The state had determined that Hickerson should be the only candidate to appear on the fall ballot in the race, without issuing one to Faulkner.
In a statement, Faulkner’s attorneys, David Kaplan and Michael Abate, said the judge “agreed that we have raised a substantial question about whether the State Board of Elections is correctly interpreting Kentucky’s judicial election laws, and that the status quo should be maintained while the parties brief and the court decides, the application of the law to these unprecedented facts.”
A request for comment from Hickerson was not immediately returned.
Here is a copy of Shepherd’s order: