Tom Emberton

Last updated
Tom Emberton
Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
In office
Personal details
Born(1932-07-14)July 14, 1932
Tompkinsville, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedOctober 20, 2022(2022-10-20) (aged 90)
Edmonton, Kentucky, U.S.
Political party Republican
SpouseJulia C. Emberton
Alma mater Western Kentucky University(BA)
University of Louisville School of Law (JD)
ProfessionLawyer, judge

Thomas Dale Emberton Sr. (July 14, 1932 — October 20, 2022) was an American politician and judge in the state of Kentucky. He was the Republican nominee for his state's governorship in the 1971 election. Of note, Mitch McConnell worked on his campaign. [1]

Emberton was born in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, in 1932. After attending Western Kentucky University, he earned a law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1962 and was admitted to the bar in that same year. He served as County Attorney for Metcalfe County from 1966 to 1967. [2] Backed by term-limited Governor Louie B. Nunn and Senator John Sherman Cooper, [3] Emberton lost to the Democratic Lieutenant Governor Wendell H. Ford, later a U.S. senator. Ford polled 470,720 votes (50.6 percent) to Emberton's 412,653 (44.3 percent). Former Democratic U.S. Senator and Governor Happy Chandler of Versailles received the remaining 39,493 votes (5.1 percent), running as an Independent.

Prior to his gubernatorial candidacy, Emberton served as a member of the Public Service Commission in the Nunn administration.

In 1980, Emberton ran in Kentucky's 5th congressional district but lost the primary to the eventual winner, Hal Rogers of Somerset in Pulaski County, who still holds the seat..

In 1987, Democratic Governor Wallace Wilkinson appointed Emberton to fill a vacancy on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He held that position until his retirement in 2004. Emberton resided in Edmonton, the seat of Metcalfe County in southern Kentucky. [4]

On October 20, 2022, Emberton's home in Edmonton caught fire; he later died when he re-entered the burning home in an effort to save it. He was 90 years old. [5] [6]

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  1. "Cook's Aide Joins Emberton". The Cincinnati Enquirer. 21 November 1970.
  2. "The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory". Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Incorporated. October 21, 1972 via Google Books.
  3. Congressional Archives Carl Albert Center. "Thomas Emberton [Republican] 1971 Campaign Ad "John Sherman Cooper"". YouTube. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  4.;jsessionid=8488FBB2DB4AF26C20E5AD6C75791391?searchFName=thomas&searchMName=d&searchLName=emberton&searchCity=&searchState=KY&searchApproxAge=73&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=50&y=11 [ dead link ]
  5. Dean, Kelly; Walters, Sarah (October 20, 2022). "Former Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Tom Emberton dies in house fire". WKBO News. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  6. "Tom Emberton, former judge and gubernatorial candidate, dies at 90". WCLU Radio. October 20, 2022. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by