Longtime Fayette County Attorney unseated by wide margin after heated race, unofficial results show

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Unofficial election results show Angela Evans, a former public defender and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Councilwoman, on Tuesday unseated Larry Roberts as Fayette County Attorney, an office he was first elected to in 2006.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Evans led 71.18% to Roberts’ 28.82%.

The Democratic primary brought the first challenge to the office for Roberts, a former Fayette Commonwealth Attorney. There was no Republican in the race. The County Attorney’s office oversees criminal and traffic prosecution and child support collection among several other duties, has 100 employees and an annual $4 million budget.

Evans, 46, ran on a platform of reducing recidivism, and promoting transparency and equity. She said data should be transparent on the plea offers made to defendants and whether race is playing a part in who is entering diversion programs.

Roberts had said in response that his office worked hard to be sure everyone got a fair shake. He noted his competence, experience and innovative specialty courts.

On Tuesday night, Roberts said, “I’m disappointed. But I know it’s politics. You run, you sometimes get beat. It’s like a jury trial. You do what you can. If you lose, you lose.”

He said he thought Evans would be “fine” in the job and he would help her in every way possible to have a “successful turnover.”

Evans said Tuesday night that she thought that his offer was great. She said voters understood her message.

“I’m ready to bring more transparency and equity in that office,” Evans said. She thanked Roberts for participating in forums and making the race “truly a Democratic process.”

In the race, Roberts, 78, faced criticism for the way he’s prosecuted cases generated by the racial protests of 2020.

None of the 20 or so charges against racial justice protesters were dropped, but as of earlier in May about nine of those defendants had received diversion, Roberts said.

Roberts had received repeated requests from Lexington Black Faith leaders and the NAACP to drop the charges against protester Sarah Williams, which include inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and disregarding traffic regulations, according to court records. Roberts said he supported people’s right to protest peacefully. But he said he didn’t support people who intentionally broke the law during the protests.

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