Chiles, Thompson win primaries in races for circuit judgeships

By Kyla Asbury | May 14, 2014

HUNTINGTON - There will be two new names on the ballot in November for circuit judge positions in Cabell and Mingo counties.

Chris Chiles, who was appointed in February to succeed retired Circuit Judge David Pancake, will remain as circuit judge in Cabell County unless a Republican challenger steps up before the election.

Chiles won Tuesday’s Democratic primary with an overwhelming 3,671 votes, or 66 percent. Cheryl Henderson, a partner at Henderson, Henderson & Staples in Huntington, received 1,884 votes, 34 percent.

"The voters have shown confidence in me, and I can't thank them enough," Chiles told the Herald-Dispatch. "I am humbled by their support, I'm appreciative, and I intend to keep doing what I have been doing, which is to be fair and impartial in all cases and try to see that justice is done to the extent possible."

Republicans have until Aug. 20 to choose a candidate and the winner of the election in November will serve as circuit judge until the term expires in 2016.

Chiles served 31 years as prosecutor and assistant prosecutor. Chiles' career also included time as the elected president of the National District Attorneys Association.

Chiles graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1977 and from West Virginia University's College of Law in 1980. He is married with three sons.
In Mingo County, Family Court Judge Miki Thompson won the county's circuit judge primary with 2,409 votes, 39 percent.

Thompson beat out Jonathan Jewell, who received 1,707 votes, 28 percent. He was followed by Robert Carlton, who received 1,393 votes, 23 percent, and Teresa McCune, who received 675 votes, 11 percent.

Two senior status judges have been presiding in Mingo County since last year’s resignation of Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury.

Thornsbury, who served as judge 16 years, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to deprive the constitutional rights of a man he sentenced on drug charges.

He will be sentenced later this year on a federal criminal conviction.

Thompson, who has been a resident of Mingo County for 38 years, relocated from Wheelright, Ky.

Prior to becoming a family court judge five years ago, Thompson was an attorney in a solo practice who began her career in 1992.

Thompson also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney between 1992 and 2004.

Thompson was employed by the Mingo County Board of Education for eight years as an elementary teacher prior to going to law school at the University of Kentucky.

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