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Votes cast for Ben Dusing in family court race will not count, judge rules

Ben Dusing
Posted at 3:31 PM, Apr 06, 2022

Ben Dusing is not a bona fide candidate for the office of Kenton County Family Court judge, according to a ruling filed Wednesday in Kenton Circuit Court.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by attorney Brian Halloran, saying Dusing should not be on the ballot because he is not currently a licensed attorney.

A motion to dismiss Halloran’s lawsuit was filed last week by Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, saying that as long as Dusing is licensed by the time he is sworn in, he can run for judge.

Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape wrote Wednesday that the the motion to dismiss the lawsuit is denied and that no votes cast for Dusing in the May primary will be counted.

“This court finds that [Halloran] has established that Dusing does not possess the qualifications to be a circuit judge, and until his license to practice law is reinstated, he is ineligible to be a candidate for office,” Lape wrote.

“I think it’s the right decision,” Halloran told LINK on Wednesday. Halloran said he filed the suit because “I got tired of the last 10 years of drama and I didn’t want any more drama brought into this election.”

Dusing said Wednesday that he respectfully disagrees with the ruling and that he plans to appeal.

The Kentucky Supreme Court temporarily suspended Dusing’s license in February after the Kentucky Supreme Court reviewed allegations that he threatened two Northern Kentucky attorneys and used amphetamines during a federal criminal trial in New York. He is required to submit to a psychological evaluation to determine his mental fitness to practice law.

An appeal is likely, but Halloran said he thinks the court of appeals will affirm the ruling. Assuming that’s what happens, the top two vote getters, which are the only other candidates in the election, will move on to the general election in November.

Those candidates are Carl Knochelmann and Terry King Schoborg.

King Schoborg said Wednesday the ruling has thrown another curveball into the way she campaigns, but she wanted to send this message to voters:

“We should still consider it to be a contested primary until we find out what the court of appeals ruling is,” Schoborg said.

Both Schoborg and Halloran said they were surprised that the secretary of state got involved.

“I thought that statute was clear,” Halloran said. “I was a little disappointed that the secretary of state decided to hire outside council to argue that law. I thought the statute was clear from the beginning.”