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TOPEKA—The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene at 8:30 a.m. Friday, February 28, to interview 10 nominees to fill a district judge vacancy created when Chief Judge Evelyn Wilson left her position to become a justice of the Kansas Supreme Court on January 24.

The commission will meet in the Shawnee County Courthouse, 200 SE 7th St. Interviews are open to the public.

The 3rd Judicial District is composed of Shawnee County.

The nominees and their interview times are:

9 a.m.
Jay Befort, Topeka, deputy general counsel, Kansas Department of Revenue

9:15 a.m.
Kevin Cook, Topeka, private practice, Cook Law Office, Topeka

9:30 a.m.
Jessica Domme, Tecumseh, assistant attorney general, Kansas Attorney General's office

9:45 a.m.
Lori Dougherty-Bichsel, Silver Lake, administrative judge and department director, Topeka Municipal Court

10 a.m.
Sarah Loquist-Berry, Topeka, general counsel, Sedgwick County Area Educational Services Interlocal Cooperative 

10:15 a.m.
Break

10:30 a.m.
Amy Raymond, Topeka, director of trial court programs, Office of Judicial Administration, Kansas judicial branch

10:45 a.m.
Steven Roth, Topeka, administrative law judge, Kansas Department of Labor, Workers Compensation Division

11 a.m.
Jennifer Martin Smith, Topeka, private practice, Alderson, Alderson, Conklin, Crow & Slinkard, Topeka

11:15 a.m.
Todd Thornburg, Topeka, staff attorney and special assistant attorney general, Kansas Department of Labor

11:30 a.m.
Brett Watson, Topeka, deputy district attorney, Shawnee County District Attorney's office 

The commission will select from three to five nominees whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the position according to statutory qualification and residency requirements. If there are not three nominees who reside in the judicial district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider nominees who reside outside the district. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

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.

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 Shawnee County at the time of taking office and while holding office.

The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Stegall as the nonvoting chair, Terry Beck, Daniel Crow, Thomas Lemon, Randall Phillips, and Eric Stafford, all of Topeka, and Toby McCullough, Rossville.

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