A Franklin Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of a candidate seeking to replace Danny Alvarez on the ballot in November for a judge’s race.

Alvarez, 43, collapsed and died the day after he received the most votes in the primary election for Jefferson County District Court judge.

Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Monday that attorney Karen Faulkner, who came in third in the May primary, would replace Alvarez on the ballot. Faulkner received 17 fewer votes than the runner-up, attorney Tanisha Ann Hickerson.

Alvarez would have faced Hickerson in a November runoff in the judge’s race. Following his death, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office said there would only be one candidate on the ballot in November. But Shepherd disagreed.

“The Court understands the impulse to award Daniel Alvarez a certificate of nomination in recognition of his admirable career and successful campaign. Yet the controlling statutes dictate that the legal effect of his tragic death is the nullification of the primary votes cast for him. This is necessary in order to preserve the right of all voters (including Alvarez’ voters, who made a conscious choice to not vote for Hickerson or Faulkner) to make a choice in the general election,” Shepherd wrote.

Read the full decision here.