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TOPEKA—The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene Tuesday, July 28, to interview six nominees to fill a district judge position in Leavenworth County created by the July 17 retirement of Judge Michael Gibbens.

The commission will meet at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 2 of the Leavenworth Justice Center at 601 S 3rd St., Leavenworth. The commission will announce if it changes the meeting location because of pandemic concerns.

Interviews are open to the public.

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

Interview schedule

9 a.m.
Keyta D. Kelly, Tonganoxie, private practice lawyer

9:30 a.m.
Pamela Campbell Burton, Leavenworth, private practice lawyer

10 a.m.
Joan M. Lowdon, Bonner Springs, deputy county attorney, Leavenworth County

10:30 a.m.
Break

10:45 a.m.
Natalie M. Teemer Washington, Leavenworth, private practice lawyer

11:15 a.m.
Michael G. Jones, Lansing, private practice lawyer

11:45 a.m.
John R. Kurth, Atchison, private practice lawyer and municipal judge for the city of Elwood

Nominees to governor

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.

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.

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.

Nominating commission

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Supreme Court 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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