Thursday, October 14, 2004

Lawyers rate candidates

Campbell County judicial race

By Patrick Crowley
Enquirer staff writer

Judicial candidates Julie Reinhardt Ward, Greg Popovich (center) and Steven Franzen speak at a forum Oct. 4.
Enquirer file
NEWPORT - Campbell Circuit Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward is less qualified for her seat than two of her opponents, according to a survey of nearly 200 Northern Kentucky lawyers.

The Northern Kentucky Bar Association released a poll of its members Wednesday in Campbell County's judicial race. Of the 1,030 surveys mailed to lawyers, 190 were returned, the association said.

Fort Thomas lawyer Steve Franzen and Campbell District Judge Greg Popovich received nearly identical overall ratings from the lawyers.

Franzen, who has practiced law for 22 years, was named "well qualified" by 109 lawyers and "not qualified" by 15. Popovich, a judge for nearly 11 years, was rated "well qualified" by 108 lawyers and "not qualified" by 18.

Ward, who practiced law for nine years, was named "well qualified" by 18 lawyers and "not qualified" by 88. She is the daughter of state Rep. Jon David Reinhardt, a Campbell County Republican, and was appointed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher in April.

Ward is the first woman ever appointed to the Campbell Circuit bench.

Fort Thomas lawyer Charles Lester, who has practiced law for more than 20 years but who has not campaigned as much as the other candidates, received a "well qualified" score of 11 and a "not qualified" ranking from 48 lawyers.

Ward's ratings finished closer to Franzen and Popovich in a number of other areas, including character, courtroom courtesy, attention to legal arguments and testimony and trust.


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