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.
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The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld that ruling Friday.
Thompson faces Democrat Ronnie Watts of Garner. Watts runs a furniture store.