Fayette County

Traci Boyd defeats incumbent John Schrader for family court judge; Kathy Stein easily wins her seat

Judge John Schrader and family law attorney Traci Boyd
Judge John Schrader and family law attorney Traci Boyd

One of two incumbents in races for Fayette County Family Court judge failed to keep his seat.

In Fayette County's second division of Family Court, family law attorney Traci Boyd defeated Judge John Schrader.

In the sixth division of Fayette County Family Court, Judge Kathy Stein, a former state lawmaker, defeated Jennifer McVay Martin, a veteran family court attorney.

Stein, who had stepped down from the state Senate to fill a vacant judgeship, easily won election to a full term.

"I attribute it to the citizens' knowledge of the work that I have done for the past 18 years," Stein said.

She had been a judge for only a year, but Stein said that during her House and Senate career, she concentrated on issues regarding the well-being of families, children and women.

Boyd, meanwhile, said Tuesday that she ran a "good grass-roots campaign."

"I want to be a family court judge that listens and that treats everyone as a family and a person, that tries to get decisions to people very quickly," Boyd said.

"When people come to family court, that is the single most important thing that's going on in their lives.

"I've been there myself, and I know how tough that is," she said.

Her opponent, Schrader, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. He had been the subject of an Administrative Office of the Courts investigation more than three years ago.

In February 2011, Laurie Dudgeon, director of the AOC, had referred a case involving Schrader to the Judicial Conduct Commission because an AOC investigation had found "substantial evidence that certain persons working in/or around Judge Schrader have experienced, at minimum, times when they have been uncomfortable, upset and or concerned over comments he has made and behavior he has exhibited during court proceedings which the affected employees felt were inappropriate and hindered their ability to work."

Most decisions made by the commission are kept confidential. Schrader said in a written statement to the Herald-Leader on Oct. 15 that a disgruntled former employee made allegations against him and that the matter was "privately resolved."

The judge, who helped pilot the Fayette Veterans Treatment Court to try to keep veterans out of prison with treatment alternatives, defended his record in the written statement.

"After making thousands of rulings over the past eight years, I have only been reversed on appeal five times," he wrote.