After 11 years on the 34th Judicial Circuit bench, Dan Ballou is seeking a new judicial position as a member of the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Judge Dan Ballou, a 12-year Marine Corps veteran, has served the judicial circuit covering Whitley and McCreary Counties since 2007, when he was elected to fill the unexpired term of retiring Judge Jerry Winchester.
“I think we have done a lot of goof for the people we serve, the people of Whitley and McCreary County,” Ballou said. “But there is more to be done at a higher level of the judiciary. What we do there can affect, in a positive way, the entire state.”
Ballou said unlike other elected offices, a judge’s only agenda is to fairly apply the law.
“With judges, we are predominately referees,” Ballou said. “We don’t make the law. We are not supposed to.”
“One of the things I want to do as a justice is to set an appropriate example and simply referee,” Ballou said adding that he sees the bench on which judges sit as a workbench and not a throne.
“Unfortunately, a lot of judges don’t see it that way,” Ballou said.
While acknowledging that he is in a very good place in his current position, Ballou said the decision to seek higher judicial office comes from his desire to serve the people and God.
“I look to the Lord for direction,” Ballou said.
“As a Christian, I pray and ask God to open and close doors according to His will,” he said.
Ballou said he would never rule out moving further up the judicial ladder than the Kentucky Supreme Court, which would require appointment to the federal bench.
“Any other future office or opportunity, I leave that to the good Lord’s will,” Ballou said.
Should Ballou win the election, Gov. Matt Bevin, would appoint someone to fill the remainder of his term.
To whomever takes his seat on the circuit bench, Ballou offered this advice.
“Never forget that we work for the people. My boss is not the Administrative Office of the Courts, or the government. My boss is the people I serve. My allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States and the Kentucky Constitution, which I have sworn to uphold and defend,” Ballou said. “It is important that judges understand and don’t lose sight of that.”
Ballou added that judges at all level should remember that when the bailiff asks the people to rise when the judge enters the courtroom, they are not staying up for the judge.
“It is a way to honor our system of justice,” Ballou said. “It is easy for anyone in the position of a judge to lose focus on that”
“Be humble,” he added.
Ballou said like every other position, he understands that the election is a job interview and the people get to decide.
“I just want to thank all of the voters who have given me their support in the past. I ask for people to consider voting for me,” Ballou said. “God bless everyone, whether they vote for me or not.”