A new judge will be taking the bench in Pike County.

Yesterday the State Senate confirmed attorney, Kelly Gaughan, to serve as judge for the remainder of 2019..

In the may primary election, Gaughan received both the Republican and Democratic nominations from county voters.

In a special hearing yesterday, the State Senate unanimously confirmed Kelly Gaughan to step-in to the vacant judgeship in Pike County.

"We are honored to be able to sit here and recommend Kelly Gaughan to fill the position for judge.

Pike County's only had one judge the past three years as former President Judge Joseph Kameen took medical leave and eventually retired in 2018. Senator Lisa Baker called it urgent that position be filled immediately.

"I have heard from many of my constituents how there have been problems with people getting there day in court "

Addressing the Senators, Gaughan pointed out having only one judge has created an undue burden and a backlog of cases in the court system.

"There people here that are hung up, that are trying to get in court, they are trying to get their case before a judge so that's the urgency we are dealing with in Pike County."

District Attorney Ray Tonkin, a political opponent of Gauhan when she ran against him for the position was excited to see her get the nod for judge.

"Judge Gaughan will be a welcome addition to the bench and I look forward to her serving the citizens of Pike County."

Tonkin notes substitute judges needed to be brought into Pike County to hear cases. With her on the bench, the court system will be more fluid.

"I think this will help alleviate the burden in the court and serve the citizens more efficiently in Pike County."

And after practicing law for more than 20 years, Gaughans more than ready for the new challenge ahead of her.

"I think a judge needs to be fair, impartial and be able to apply the law to any ruling and that's what I plan to do. "

Gaughan expects to be sworn into the new role in September.