Jack LattaStaff Writer
November 6, 2012
Floyd County native Janet Stumbo fell to incumbent Will T. Scott in her bid to reclaim her former 7th District seat on the state Supreme Court.
As of Press time, with 18 of 22 counties counted, Stumbo was trailing Scott 46 percent to 53 percent of the vote. The 7th Supreme Court District consists of 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky.
Stumbo previously lost her seat to Scott in a hotly contested 2004 election.
This year’s election was no different in outcome, but was significantly less competitive. Scott chastised Stumbo for an alleged history of liberal activism from the bench and also for continuing to use her maiden name for what he termed “misrepresenting her identity.”
Stumbo is the wife of Prestonsburg attorney, Ned Pillersdorf.
A statement was released on Scott’s campaign website, stating Stumbo’s use of her maiden name confused some voters, who believed she is closely related either to House Speaker Greg Stumbo or former gubernatorial candidate Dr. Grady Stumbo.
“Just recently, Stewart Media Group, again advised our campaign that ‘Janet Stumbo using her maiden name, Stumbo, on the ballot instead of her married name, Pillersdorf, gives her an artificial advantage that benefits her by approximately 4.9 percent of the vote,’” the campaign’s statement says. “This is due to noticeable numbers of voters who (mistakenly) believe that Janet is Grady Stumbo’s wife or Greg Stumbo’s sister. This mistaken advantage can be significant since 158,000 voters voted in this race in 2004.”
Stumbo claimed that she had retained her maiden name after marrying Pillersdorf and has used it exclusively throughout 27 years of marriage and in each of her five judicial races.
Stumbo was the first woman to be elected to the Court of Appeals in 1989. She served there for four years before becoming the first woman to be elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court, where she served 11 years before being narrowly unseated by Scott in 2004.
In 2006, Scott replaced Justice Martin E. Johnstone as Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Scott served as Deputy Chief Justice until 2010. Scott was a candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky’s 7th congressional district in 1988 and 1990.
District 97, State Represntative
The only other state office facing Floyd County voters — only those in three precincts, at that — was the 97th District state House of Representatives race.
In that race, incumbent Democratic Rep. Hubert Collins cruised to victory over his Republican challenger, Bobby McCool, by a 3-to-2 margin, 8,305 to 5,763.
Collins serves as chairman of the House Transportation Committee.