Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Shea Nickell of Paducah has been elected to fill the remainder of Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham’s seat after he retired February 1. Judge Nickell defeated 3rd District State Senator Whitney Westerfield in Tuesday’s November General Election.
Judge Nickell has served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals since November 2006 and represented Division 1 of the 1st Appellate District. Prior to his election to the state Court of Appeals, Nickell practiced law for 22 years, serving as a Kentucky trial attorney, prosecutor, and public defender, and as a college instructor at Murray State University and the University of South Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Judge Nickell tells the News Edge he believes his 35-years of legal experience attributed to his win Tuesday night.
He also thanks those who voted for him to be the next state Supreme Court Justice.
Senator Westerfield tells the News Edge he is disappointed by the results of the race.
Westerfield, of Hopkinsville, carried Christian County with 8,959 votes to 3,555. He also won in the counties of Trigg, Todd, Logan, and Muhlenberg, among others.
After Cunningham retired earlier this year, Governor Matt Bevin appointed Justice David Buckingham of Murray to serve on the 1st Supreme Court District until the election.
Justice Nickell will serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court until 2022.