Judge rejects claim that Kentucky AG candidate not qualified

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A judge in Louisville declared Thursday that the Republican candidate for Kentucky attorney general has the necessary law credentials to run for that office.

Daniel Cameron's legal resume was challenged by Louisville resident Joseph L. Jackson, who filed a lawsuit seeking to remove the GOP's nominee from the ballot.

The suit filed last month said a candidate for attorney general is required by the state constitution to be a "practicing attorney" for at least eight years. Cameron was admitted to the bar in 2011 and spent his first two years in law as a clerk for a federal judge. The suit argued that Cameron was barred from practicing law during his time as a law clerk, so he hasn't yet reached the required eight years of experience.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Barry Willett rejected that argument, ruling that Cameron's time as law clerk required "legal knowledge or legal advice."

Cameron criticized his Democratic opponent, Greg Stumbo, after the ruling Thursday and said in a release that he is glad to put the "frivolous" lawsuit behind him.

"For someone who talks about experience all the time, it is funny that Stumbo and his cronies don't understand the law," Cameron said. "But this was never about the law; it was always about politics."

Stumbo, a former Kentucky attorney general and speaker of the House, denied any involvement in the lawsuit. But he said the testimony in court this week showed "how little law (Cameron) has practiced." Stumbo has been critical on the campaign trail of Cameron's youth and legal career.

"My opponent has never even prosecuted a traffic ticket citation," Stumbo said in a statement about his 33-year-old opponent.

Cameron is a former legal counsel for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, and the political newcomer has received support from President Donald Trump, who tweeted that Cameron is "tough on crime, strong on borders" and a defender of gun rights.

Kentucky's current attorney general, Democrat Andy Beshear, is forgoing a second term to run for governor against Republican incumbent Matt Bevin.

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