Misty Miller said she will be seeking the open District Court judge position left behind by Judge Lisa Jones, who was recently sworn into her new role as Circuit Court judge.
Miller ran against incumbent Judge Nick Burlew in November 2018 for the position of District Court judge and only lost by 2,178 votes. To earn 46 percent of the vote against a veteran like Burlew said a lot about the hard work her team put into the election, according to Miller, but it also said a lot about where she stood with the Daviess County community.
“Forty six percent is really good. To come from nowhere and get within less than 2,200 votes of an incumbent — I was proud of that,” she said. “My reputation is that I’m very fair — I do understand there are two sides to everything. I have a duty to the Commonwealth and the defendant as well.”
Serving as a prosecutor in Daviess County District Court for the last 14 years, Miller said she has the experience needed to understand the ins and outs of the expansive court district, which deals with everything from traffic cases to guardian help, from small claims to criminal cases.
“District Court is where life sort of happens,” Miller said of the role. “Being a District Court judge is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’d been talking about it for a long time. In the last few years, I’ve thought, ‘I can do this, and do it well.’”
The District Court judge vacancy hasn’t officially been announced, but Miller said she’s checking the Secretary of State’s website every day waiting for the spot to be available. Miller said she believes the vacancy won’t be available until Andy Beshear has been sworn in as governor.
“The governor has 60 days to make an appointment [for the vacancy],” Miller said.
Nobody has filed for the open position in Frankfort, but Miller said she expects one or more others might file alongside her before the Jan. 10 deadline.
Judge Joe Castlen has been filling in for Jones since her move to Circuit Court, but Miller expects that a vacancy notice will be sent to attorneys in Daviess County soon. If Miller is appointed to the seat by a seven-person nominating commission and Beshear, she will be able to serve as District Court judge until she runs for the position in the November 2020 election, which she fully intends to do.
Miller has been a longtime advocate for Mental Health Court, which was put into action in late August for the first time. She’d also like to see the dockets run smoother by working to minimize the wait time for people in the courtroom.
And though being a District Court judge might seem stressful to most, Miller sees it as the opportunity of a lifetime.
“That’s what makes the job so appealing to me — there’s never a dull moment,” she said. “I like the energy and how fast-paced it is. You don’t sit around at work. In my role now — once I’m there, we don’t sit down and take lunch breaks. We just work the day through.”