Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson may run for re-election despite a federal felony vote-buying conviction, a state appeals court ruled Friday.
Because Thompson's appeal of his 2008 conviction is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, he is eligible to run.
Twenty-one Knott County Democrats challenged his candidacy before the May primary, court documents say, but because Thompson is a Republican, they had no standing to challenge another party's primary election.
They re-filed a challenge before the general election, and special Judge John David Caudill ruled in Knott Circuit Court that according to state law, Thompson may run.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld that ruling Friday.
Thompson faces Democrat Ronnie Watts of Garner. Watts runs a furniture store.