Death of judicial candidate has no recent precedent, state says

Courtesy “Danny Alvarez for Judge”

While the sudden death of the ninth division district court primary winner Daniel “Danny” Alvarez has shocked and saddened city leaders and citizens, it has also made the outcome of that election somewhat “unprecedented,” a state official said.

Alvarez, 43, reportedly collapsed Wednesday afternoon, less than a day after beating three other candidates in a crowded primary election Tuesday. He is survived by a wife and three children, according to his campaign’s Facebook page.

The cause of his death is unknown.

Alvarez’s death creates a unique situation that the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office says has no recent precedent.

I can’t think of a recent example,” Bradford Queen, a spokesman for the office, said. “If it’s not the first, then it would be a rare occurrence.”

In nonpartisan district court judicial primaries like this one, the top two candidates with the most votes will square off against one another in the general election. As of Tuesday night, Alvarez, an immigration attorney, would have faced Tanisha Hickerson, who finished in second place.

Queen said that because of his death, Alvarez — who won nearly 31 percent of the vote — obviously won’t appear on the general election ballot this fall, and that Hickerson will be the only candidate by default.

Kentucky State Board of Elections

There is no precedence for the third place vote automatically getting second place because of the death of the first place vote,” Queen said, referring to candidate Karen Faulkner, who came in third place in the ninth division.

Even though Faulkner lost to Hickerson by a mere 17 votes, Queen said a re-canvassing of the 93,447 votes cast in the ninth division race is not automatic.

However, a recount could occur if a candidate requests one from the Kentucky Secretary of State. So far, no such re-canvassing has been requested.