FRANKFORT — It didn’t take long for Gov. Steve Beshear to name Republican Senate President David Williams to a vacant 40th Circuit Judgeship in southern Kentucky.
Beshear made the announcement Friday, one day after a nominating commission included Williams among the required three nominations. The others were Angela Capps, a public defender, and Steven Douglas Hurt, a retired district judge. The circuit covers Clinton, Cumberland and Monroe counties.
Williams said called the position “a dream job,” one his father had wished for his son before the elder Williams’ death, and said he looks forward to “going home” to live in his native Cumberland County.
Williams said he would not use the higher judicial salary to “enhance my legislative pension,” and plans to run for re-election in two years when the unexpired term of the recently deceased Judge Eddie Lovelace, a longtime friend of Williams, ends.
Beshear and Williams have clashed almost from day one after Beshear was elected in 2007, primarily over gambling but really over a multitude of policy issues and politics. During Beshear’s successful re-election campaign in 2011, when he was opposed by Williams, the two barely disguised their mutual disdain.
Beshear had little to say in his Friday statement other than he’d chosen Williams — as nearly everyone in Frankfort expected.
“I am appointing Sen. David Williams to this judgeship effective Nov. 2,” Beshear said. “Sen. Williams is an experienced lawyer and is familiar with the district, having represented the area in the legislature for more than 20 years.”
Williams said he will resign his Senate seat on Nov. 2 after being sworn in as circuit judge and would play no part in the selection of his successor as Senate President, saying he did not think that is appropriate. In fact, Williams said he would have nothing to say on politics while serving as a judge.