Three seek Venters' unexpired term as Lincoln judge

August 14, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Three candidates have emerged as hopefuls for circuit court judge in the 28th Judicial Circuit.

Robert E. Gillum. Mark J. Stanziano and Mike Duncan, all of Somerset, have declared their candidacy with the Secretary of State. Tuesday was the filing deadline. The district includes Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties.

Gillum was appointed to the post by Gov. Paul Patton after the retirement of Daniel J. Venters, four months before the end of his term.

During his formal investiture speech in July, Gillum said he planned to run.

"I would not have accepted the position if I hadn't planned on running to begin with, because I think the position needs continuity," he said.


His short time on the bench has reinforced his commitment to the candidacy. "I thoroughly enjoy what I'm doing," said Gillum.

Gillum hopes to create a drug court, though state funding for such a project is tight.

Stanziano, the first candidate to file his intentions with the Secretary of State, also is on the campaign trail.

As a trial lawyer, Stanziano said some people did not think he would be a good candidate. But Stanziano said the fact that he is a trial lawyer makes him the perfect candidate for a trial judge.

"My 20-year-old daughter said, 'Dad, the fact that you take the cases shows that you have courage to stand up for what is right, and isn't that what people want in a judge?'"

Stanziano hopes to bring a two-prong approach to crime while serving as circuit judge. By implementing both restorative and therapeutic justice in the courtroom, Stanziano said he would help alleviate jail crowding and state debt.

"Therapeutic justice is trying to get to the core of the problem, as it causes their criminal behavior," said Stanziano. "Restorative justice acknowledges the loss of the victims needs to be remedied by the system somehow." For example, if a door is broken in, said Stanziano, sometimes the victim just wants a new door, not a lengthy jail sentence for the accused.

The third candidate, Mike Duncan, also is an attorney. Before his current position as a personal injury lawyer, Duncan was an assistant attorney for Pulaski County and a assistant attorney for the commonwealth.

The position will be filled during the November election.

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