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Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell wins 2022 primary

Courtesy Mike O'Connell

Democrat Mike O’Connell was the projected winner of Tuesday’s  Democratic primary, securing a spot on the November ballot — and a likely fourth full term as Jefferson County Attorney.

That office represents Louisville Metro Government and the Metro Council in legal matters, prosecutes misdemeanors and oversees child support cases.

O’Connell beat out two other Democrats who were first-time candidates for the position: Karl Price, a private attorney and former county prosecutor and David Holton, a retired district court judge.

The incumbent reflected on the past efforts he said he’s most proud of.

“I got the city involved in the national opioid loss litigation, and we're gonna get about $30 million from that over some years. And I made the decision not to prosecute low-level marijuana cases because of racial disparity,” O’Connell said.

He added that he’d like to work toward bail reform, but said that won’t be an easy feat in this state.

“Our constitution in Kentucky provides that everyone is entitled to bail, and that they're entitled to bail at a commensurate amount with the offense,” O’Connell said. “To go to a cashless bail system or something like that would take amending the Kentucky Constitution which would have to be voted upon statewide.”

Former Mayor Jerry Abramson appointed O’Connell to the position in 2008. He secured his first four-year term in 2010 and has won all subsequent elections. He was formerly a judge in both the Jefferson County District and Circuit Courts.

The Jefferson County Attorney position is not term-limited.

Judicial results

The top two vote-getters in each judicial race will be on the ballot in November.

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