Skip to content

TOPEKA—The 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene July 8 to interview nominees to fill a district judge position in Johnson County created by the July 1 retirement of Judge Sara Welch.

Interviews are open to the public and they will start at a time to be announced later. All will take place at the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe.

The commission also will convene at 1:30 p.m. June 25 by videoconference to review the nominees and select who will be interviewed. The meeting is open to the public, and anyone who wants to listen may request instructions by emailing

The 10th Judicial District is composed of Johnson County.

The nominees are:

  • Joshua K Allen, Prairie Village, city prosecutor for several cities;

  • Jenifer J. Ashford, Olathe, district magistrate judge in Johnson County;

  • Krishnan Christopher Jayaram, Overland Park, private practice;

  • Michael F. McCulloch, Olathe, Johnson County chief public defender;

  • Michael Richard-Tel Parrett, Shawnee, private practice;

  • Vanessa M. Riebli, Olathe, Johnson County district attorney’s office section chief;

  • Jacquelyn E. Rokusek, Shawnee, private practice;

  • Karen L. Torline, Shawnee, municipal court judge for several cities; and

  • Gary J. Willnauer, Stilwell, private practice.

After interviews July 8, 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 Johnson County at the time of taking office and while holding office.

The 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Wilson as the nonvoting chair; Thomas Bath, John Parisi, and Samuel Turner Sr., Leawood; Joe Beveridge, Stephene Moore, and Annabeth Surbaugh, Lenexa; Laura McConwell, Mission; Doug Brownlee, James Griffith, and Stephen Tatum, Olathe; Rick Guinn, Kevin Moriarty, and Greg Musil, Overland Park; and Josie Herrera, Shawnee.

Find a District Court

Back to top