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TOPEKA—The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission has sent the names of three nominees for district judge to Gov. Laura Kelly, who has 60 days to decide who will fill the vacancy created by the July 17 retirement of Leavenworth County Judge Michael Gibbens.

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

The nominees are:

  • Michael G. Jones, Lansing, private practice lawyer;

  • Keyta D. Kelly, Tonganoxie, private practice lawyer; and

  • Joan M. Lowdon, Bonner Springs, deputy county attorney, Leavenworth County.

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 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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