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TOPEKA—The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission is seeking nominations to fill a district judge vacancy in Leavenworth County created by the July 17 retirement of Judge Michael Gibbens.

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

Justice Eric Rosen, the Supreme Court departmental justice responsible for the 1st Judicial District, said individuals can apply or be nominated, but nominations must come on a nomination form and include the nominee's signature.

A nominee 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.

Nominations must be accompanied by a nomination form available from the clerk of the district court in Atchison or Leavenworth counties, the clerk of the appellate courts at the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka, or online at

One original and nine copies of the completed nomination form and supporting letters must be submitted by noon Friday, July 10, to:

G. Ronald Bates Jr.
Commission Secretary
529 Delaware St.
Leavenworth KS 66048

The nominating commission will convene to interview nominees at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 28. The meeting location will be announced later. Interviews are open to the public.

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 district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider nominees who reside outside the judicial 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.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of 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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