HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (5/15/14) — This is the first of a three-day series with interviews of the District Judge candidates that will appear on the May 20 Primary Election ballot in Hopkins County.
Two of the three candidates on the primary ballot will face each other in the November 4 General Election.
Randall Hardesty is a 30-year veteran in district and circuit courts in more than 25 counties in Kentucky. The University of Kentucky College of Law graduate, who has published two Supreme Court cases, is now running for District Judge Division 1.
Hardesty, who has experience before the Kentucky Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court, told SurfKY that the best defining quality of a judge is “balance”.
“I have spent my entire career in the private sector; my opponents have each spent the bulk of their careers as prosecutors,” said Hardesty. “There is already a prosecutor involved in every criminal case, we don’t need the judge to be a prosecutor, as well. I have the balance and judgment to come into the District Court without any preconceptions or inadvertent biases.”
If elected, Hardesty said he intends to develop the Veterans Court, a project that addresses the needs of veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues, who enter the criminal justice system. The program provides substance abuse treatment, but also includes veteran-to-veteran mentoring and psychological help. Hardesty said the program is already in place in Jefferson County, and there are plans to place one in Christian County.
“Considering the sacrifices made by our veterans, it seems that anything we can do to keep them out of jail, as a result of their service, would be worth considering,” said Hardesty.
Hardesty explained that he would like to see some adjustments made to the current Hopkins County court system to make the courts more “user friendly”. He suggested that this might involve changes such as setting hearings for a specific time, or including a Saturday court once a month, making it easier on parties that would have difficulties attending during the week.
Hardesty told SurfKY that he is an advocate for increased use of community service for minor offense. He said he would like to investigate the possibility, if elected, and would work in cooperation and assistance with the Clerk’s and the Sheriff’s offices.
Hardesty has been involved in numerous fraternal, church, charitable and civic activities, including the Knights of Columbus, the Family Advocacy Center, Court Supported Special Advocacy Center of Hopkins County and Kentucky and the St. Vincent DePaul store.
Hardesty has been married to his wife, Kim, for 28 years. They are the parents of two daughters, Lynn and Carol.
This was part two of “Meet the District Judge Candidates”. SurfKY has will introduce the last candidate, Shaun McEntire tomorrow.Follow SurfKY for the latest on the Madisonville and Hopkins County primary election May 20.
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