By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - Miki Thompson, a Democrat who has served the residents of Mingo County as their family court judge since 2009, has filed for the office of circuit judge in the 2014 primary election and feels she is the most experienced candidate on the ballot for that position.
Thompson has been a resident of the county for the last 38 years, relocating here from Wheelright, Ky., after her marriage to her husband, Gary. She has two daughters, Lauren Thompson, who is an attorney and took over her mother’s law practice after she was elected as family judge, and the late Kara Vance, who was a professional photographer. Thompson and her husband have adopted their granddaughter, Darby Vance, who is 5 years old.
Thompson has presided over thousands of domestic matters since being elected to office five years ago, including divorce, child custody, contempt of court, child support, and others. Prior to taking on that role, she was an attorney in a solo practice who began her career in 1992, and engaged in the general practice of law and took various civil cases, including personal injury, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, deeds, wills, etc. Thompson also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney between the years of 1992 and 2004, and prosecuted scores of criminal cases in both magistrate and and circuit courts. She contested numerous jury trials of various crimes, from DUIs to sexual assaults and murder cases, with three of her murder trials resulting in sentences of life without mercy.
Prior to attending law school at the University of Kentucky, Thompson was employed by the Mingo County Board of Education for 8 years as an elementary teacher, and also taught gifted children. She completed her advanced certification in July 1, 1987, at Marshall University, then left the teaching profession to attend law school in the fall of 1988.
“I had always wanted to be an attorney, but the circumstances had never been quite right,” Thompson said. “When it did work out for me to go, I packed up with my daughters and moved to Lexington, Ky., where I stayed until my degree was completed. I then came back to the place I love and am very proud to call home.”
“I could live anywhere that I want, but I choose to live here in Mingo County,” the judge said. “I love the area, but more than that, I love the people. I have a strong respect for our miners, as well as other professions. We are very blessed with good people here, and I want to serve as their circuit judge and assure them that they will be treated fairly and justlly by the legal system, just as I do each and every day in Family Court.”
“I am the only candidate for office with experience behind the bench, which is crucial when you are stepping in to a position that doesn’t allow time for training,” Thompson said. “You’ve got to have the knowledge and understanding of what the job requires and how the system works before you can hit the ground running from day one.”
“The five years I have been your Family Court judge has allowed me insight and wisdom that is only taught by hands-on experience. You can’t learn it from a book, or from being on the other side of the bench. It only occurs when you are put in the position as a decision maker that must protect the innocent and punish those that are guilty.”
“I have the utmost respect for our judicial system and know that it does work under proper supervision and guidance. I feel that, if elected as your circuit judge, I have the ability to lead this county in the direction it needs to go and will serve our citizens in the way the law intends.”