Challengers get higher marks than sitting judge in appeals court race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Annette Karem has served as a judge for 16 years, but she got the lowest marks of any of the three candidates in the lone contested primary race for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in Jefferson County. 

About 73% of lawyers in a Louisville Bar Association poll gave qualified or highly qualified ratings to state Rep. McKenzie Cantrell and about 71% to Stan Whetzel, a lawyer in private practice and a former social worker. That compared with 62% for Karem, a district judge since 2006. 

Karem also had the highest percentage of unqualified marks of the three candidates. 

Earlier this year, Karem, the chief district judge, was forced to withdraw a proposal that would have allowed conferencing of criminal cases without a judge present. Critics said the plan — designed to reduce a backlog of cases — was illegal and unfair.

Challengers get higher marks than sitting judge in appeals court race

The Bar Association poll, which 533 lawyers completed, covers nine judicial races in which there are three or more candidates. As many as 440 participants said they did not know enough about some of the candidates to rate them.

More:The Appellate Court candidates don’t have Circuit Court Judge experience. Who’s qualified?

Races matching two candidates — including a Court of Appeals contest between Circuit Judge Audra Eckerle and Tricia Lister — will be decided in the general election.