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TOPEKA—The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission has sent the names of four nominees for district judge to Gov. Laura Kelly, who has 60 days to decide who will fill the vacancy created when Judge Robert Bednar retires January 11.

The 1st Judicial District is composed of Atchison and Leavenworth counties.

The four nominees are:

  • John J. Bryant Jr., attorney, Kansas City, Kansas;

  • Michael G. Jones, attorney, Lansing;

  • John Robert Kurth, attorney, city attorney for Nortonville, municipal judge for Elwood, and Kickapoo tribal prosecutor, Atchison; and

  • Andrew E. Werring, attorney, Atchison.

Eligibility requirements

Nominees for district judge must be:

  • at least 30 years old;

  • a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least five years, whether as a lawyer, judge, or full-time teacher at an accredited law school; and

  • a resident of the judicial district at the time of taking office and while holding office.

Term of office

After serving one year in office, the new judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

Nominating commission

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Eric Rosen as the nonvoting chair; Julia Clem and Rosemary Nies, Atchison; Todd Thompson, Basehor; G. Ronald Bates Jr., Mark Preisinger, and Kevin Reardon, Leavenworth; and Lois Meadows and Geoffrey Sonntag, Tonganoxie.

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