|John Hayden. Provided.|
He had originally reentered a crowded Newport Commission field this past January, but withdrew from consideration amid speculation that Popovich would retire.
"I decided to withdraw from the City Commission because I had heard rumors that there was a possibility that this judgeship might open up. I love Campbell County, I've lived here my entire life and I'm excited about the opportunity to serve the people," he said.
The Judicial Nominating Commission, a seven person committee made up of the Chief Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, two republican and democrat non-attorneys statewide, and two local attorneys will nominate three candidates, from which the Governor will appoint a judge.
The Governor has 60 days to make that appointment after he has been handed the three candidates from the nominating commission. A special election will then take place this November for the unexpired term.
Locally in the 17th judicial district, David Bender fills one bar seat. Fort Thomas attorney, Tim Schneider, and Vince Thomas, an attorney from Newport are locked in a special election for that final seat.
Hayden, 34, interned as a 21-year old college student, to Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. He was elected to the Newport City Commission in 2008, defeating at the time, the longest serving Commissioner in the city’s history. A graduate of Newport High School, Thomas More College and Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Hayden has practiced law in Newport since 2007.
As a lawyer, Hayden says he is known at the Campbell County Courthouse as an attorney who represents the interests of his clients, has a full understanding of the law and strives for justice and fairness in all instances.
“Judge Popovich was an excellent jurist who served Campbell County well for the last two decades and I regret seeing him retire,” Hayden said. “I’m am confident that I have the experience, capabilities, temperament and energy to serve the people and deliver justice in the county and community where I was born, where I was raised, where I work and where I am raising my family.”
“I look forward to serving the people of Campbell County as their next district judge,” Hayden said. “I want to thank my parents for raising me to believe in justice, fairness and hard work. Those are the attributes I will bring to the Campbell County Courthouse, to the justice system and to the people of our community.”
Hayden and his wife, Nikki, a teacher in the Newport Independent School District, live in Newport with their four children.
Popovich's last day is today at midnight. He has been a judge in Campbell County District Court since 1993.