Lambert earns spot on Kentucky Supreme Court

Judge Debra Lambert

Somerset's Debra Lambert looks to be moving up in the legal world.

Not all of the 27 counties for Kentucky Supreme Court, 3rd District were in by presstime for the Commonwealth Journal. But with 26 of them reporting, Lambert held a commanding lead of 65 percent to 35 percent for challenger Dan Ballou of Whitley County.

Here in Pulaski County, that trend was especially strong. Lambert earned 12,131 votes, or 66.63 percent of the vote, against Ballou's 6,075 votes, or 33.37 percent.

"I feel tremendously grateful for the vote of confidence that this elections represented, and grateful for all the voters that came out today," said Lambert. "It seems like a big turnout throughout the district and throughout the state. It's very humbling."

Lambert's expected spot on the State Supreme Court is an interesting chain of events in this General Election — local figure Dan Venters retired from the court, paving the way for Lambert or Ballou to step in, while Dan's wife Jane Venters won her seat in the newly-created Family Court judgeship for Pulaski, Lincoln, and Rockcastle Counties.

Lambert herself has been a Family Court judge, from 1999 to 2006. After that time, she went back to practicing law in Mt. Vernon, and did that until 2014, when she ran for and won a spot of the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

"I think I was ready for this part of my career to develop," she said. "I've enjoyed the appellate work so far. I think I would be able to contribute tremendously to the Supreme Court. I've had a varied career, as a practicing lawyer and an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney."

Lambert said her first job is to attend to the "day-to-day business of the court, which I understand is a pretty good workload." She also seeks to work with the Kentucky Department of Education to expand a truancy prevention program she worked on locallyas a Family Court judge by the name of "Whatever It Takes" to potentially be a state model.

"We would address different topics, such as anger management and substance abuse," she said. "I think it could be an electronic curriculum that could be developed through the Department of Education."