Ashley Ahrens, Daniel Fendley
City of residence
Education or degrees
-Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Juris Doctor earned 2005
-University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Arts in English, graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2002
I started my career as a Staff Attorney in the 12th Judicial Circuit with Judge Timothy Feeley in 2005. I entered private practice as an associate with Stewart, Roelandt, Stoess, Craigmyle, and Emery in Crestwood. Attorney Laura Stoess and I then opened our own law firm, Stoess & Flynn, in Crestwood in 2008. In 2016, I joined the law firm of Johnson, Cook, Abbott & Ahrens. Over the course of my career, I have represented people from all walks of life, including sometimes children, in a variety of cases. I have a varied legal background. I have probated estates, drafted wills and trusts, represented people in adoptions, divorces, custody matters, domestic violence cases, juvenile cases and paternity matters. I am appointed to represent individuals on the Dependent, Neglect and Abuse dockets. I served as a Guardian ad Litem in guardianship and disability cases. I have also represented people in bankruptcies, evictions, and general litigation. I did title work and real estate closings, as well.
I have spent my career in our courtrooms, not politics. I am not a lifelong politician. This is my first time running for office. I have spent the past 16 years representing people in Henry, Oldham and Trimble Counties, not in politics or government employment. I have been in private practice as a small business owner for most of my career. I was a partner at Stoess & Flynn, PLLC in Crestwood and I am currently a partner at Johnson, Cook, Abbott, & Ahrens, PLLC. When not working, I have dedicated myself to my family, in particular my children, which hasn't left much time for political endeavors. I filed to run for this office, not because of political aspirations, but because I feel strongly about our legal community having the best Judges possible in the 12th Judicial Circuit.
Professionally, I have been in private practice and a local small business owner. I am, and have always been, an active member of the 12th Judicial Circuit Bar Association and I have served as our local bar association’s Treasurer, Vice President and President. I am married to Joe Wells, who is also a local practicing attorney. My father, Dr. Doug Ahrens, started Ahrens Orthodontics locally over 40 years ago and my brother, Dr. Gerry Ahrens, continues to run the practice.
On a personal level, I am a mom and step-mom to three children. Our children are very involved in extracurricular activities and sports. I came from a sports family. I grew up playing sports competitively even at the collegiate level. I currently coach my daughter’s field hockey team at North Oldham Middle School. My son plays baseball, basketball on a North Oldham team, and he plays football at OCYFL. My stepson runs track and cross country for South Oldham High School. Coaching and supporting our local teams keeps our household very busy, and it has introduced us to many wonderful families in our community.
What would be your top priority if elected?
District Court is essentially our courthouse’s triage center. District Court handles many different kinds of cases, and people from all different backgrounds will likely have their first courtroom experiences in District Court. Having been in private practice representing our citizens, and sometimes even our children, in all of the courtrooms in our counties makes me the candidate best equipped to understand the anxieties and stressors at play and set a respectful tone in the courtroom.
My top priority would be ensuring the District Courtroom is a place where every person that enters the building is treated respectfully. Between the victims, prosecutors, lawyers, law enforcement officers, witnesses, defendants and litigants, everyone comes from a different perspective. Having an understanding of all parties at play and a good judicial temperament is crucial. My varied background provides that understanding and temperament.
I am backed by the legal community, and I am the only candidate endorsed by over 85 local practicing attorneys and retired Judges. These endorsements are how our local attorneys tell the general public which candidate is a better fit for the position. I encourage voters to ask attorneys about me as a practitioner and a person. In my practice, I work well with other attorneys, and as a Judge, I would be approachable and open to suggestions from our clerks and local bar members. I will be prepared, reasonable, and firm but fair.
What is the biggest issue facing this office?
The biggest issues facing the District Court will be maintaining continuity. We are losing over 40 years of combined experience in just under two years in District Court. Judge Crosby’s appointment as our Circuit Court Judge and Judge Wheeler’s announced retirement after over twenty years of service, leaves voters with an important decision. Whoever is elected will need to work with Judge McKenna and the courthouse staff and clerks to make sure all dockets are running as effectively and efficiently as possible. Like both Judge Crosby and Judge Wheeler, I started my career as a staff attorney in Oldham, Henry, and Trimble counties 16 years ago. The Judges spent a lot of time educating me and inviting me to observe proceedings in their courtrooms. They, and our local attorneys, helped to develop me into a successful attorney, welcomed me to our local bar and they cared about me as a person. If elected, as I transition from private practice to a judicial role, I plan to rely on their guidance. We have big shoes to fill in District Court and I am the candidate best equipped to carry on the traditions our predecessors have established while moving us forward.
Law Partner at Fendley Conway, PLLC (La Grange, KY)
Multi-center Mathnasium Owner (Ky., Ind., Tn.)
City of residence
Website or Facebook page
-2004 University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D.
-1999 Wake Forest University, B.A. History, Cum Laude
-1995 Oldham County High School, Valedictorian
This is my first time as a candidate for elected office. In the May primary for District Judge, I received the most votes in all three counties (Henry, Trimble and Oldham). From 2006-2016, I was employed as the Assistant Oldham County Attorney responsible for prosecuting traffic, misdemeanor and felony offenses. Prior to that, I was employed as an Assistant Jefferson County Attorney where I prosecuted robberies, thefts, assaults, burglaries, welfare fraud and drug trafficking cases. One of my responsibilities as the ACA in Oldham County was the prosecution of DUI offenses. During my decade of service, I improved Oldham County’s DUI conviction rate from 46th to first in the state. I was the top DUI prosecutor in Kentucky from 2010-2014. My work as a prosecutor enhanced safety in our District, a fact of which I am proud.
I am the only candidate for District Judge who was born, raised and educated in the district. I grew up on my family’s farm in Buckner where I still live. I am a Christian, husband, father of a newborn son, educator and attorney. During my career, I have aided the community in matters of intense importance. I have helped abused and neglected children find placement in loving homes; I have defended the rights of domestic violence victims against their perpetrators; I have fought against animal cruelty in court; I have helped families obtain guardians for loved ones; I have initiated mental inquest proceedings to ensure the safety of residents battling mental illness; and I have fought for safer communities against burglars, drug traffickers, and DUI offenders. In my observation, the most heartbreaking decisions made in District Court involve juvenile offenders. I have seen juveniles placed I handcuffs and sentenced to detention. Sometimes this is necessary. However, to encourage at risk teens in the court system who have gained opportunity for life improvement, I will donate 20% of my salary to fund trade school and college scholarships as reward for their efforts and achievement.
What would be your top priority if elected?
My primary focus as your District Judge will be to uphold the Constitution and ensure that our court system reflects the collective ideals of the community it serves. The people demand fairness from their courts and equal application of the law. They also desire proper accountability for criminal conduct. My motto is “Firm and Fair.”
As a criminal prosecutor and defense attorney, I have argued both sides of a case. If I win in November, I will become the first District Judge in our history with this holistic experience. A judge must see all sides of a case to ensure equality for all. In this race, I am the only candidate with criminal law experience. My opponent is a divorce attorney whose office is located in Louisville. With zero criminal law experience, my opponent cannot be trusted to rule competently over all the criminal cases in our District. Our safety demands experience and knowledge from the bench. I am also the only candidate not accepting campaign contributions and endorsements from trial attorneys. I took a mortgage on my property to fund my campaign. We must remove the specter of undue influence from the courthouse and ensure that justice is blind.
What is the biggest issue facing this office?
We are losing two decades of judicial experience in District Court. How we replace this experience is the biggest issue before us. I filed for this office because we are at a crossroads, and we need to move in the right direction. I hold vastly more legal experience in District Court than my opponent. I have litigated all types of cases, both criminal and civil, that come before our District Court. My opponent has not. From jury trials, suppression hearings, probable cause hearings, probation revocation hearings, bond hearings, detention hearings, refusal hearings, Daubert hearings, Faretta hearings, extradition hearings, restitution hearings…I have done them all. My opponent has done none. This does not presuppose that I am undaunted by the prospect oh holding this office. Neither candidate possesses judicial experience, and the proper administration of justice is a heavy responsibility. It demands wisdom, knowledge, probity, courage and humility. I stive to uphold these ideals daily, as they were instilled in me by my parents. I am proud to have received the FOP endorsement in this race because I know from experience that our law enforcement community upholds these virtues too.