TOPEKA—District Magistrate Judge Joey Duncan will retire December 31 after serving 20 years in Gray County.
Duncan was elected judge in 2000 and has served five four-year terms. In addition to his duties in Gray County, he has overseen juvenile and civil cases in Ford County. Gray and Ford counties are part of the 16th Judicial District, which also is composed of Clark, Comanche, Kiowa, and Meade counties.
Duncan said he was inspired to become a judge after serving as a youth group leader in his church and working as a baseball umpire.
"I really enjoyed working with youth," he said. "So many young people come from broken homes. I wanted to make a difference in their lives."
Duncan is a Great Bend native who graduated from Cimarron High School. He worked for the Gray County Road Department for 25 years before becoming a judge.
"The most satisfying part of my job is when I get a phone call or a letter from someone thanking me for what happened in their case," he said.
He encourages people interested in becoming a district magistrate judge to study Kansas statutes and the requirements to be a judge.
Duncan also is municipal judge for the City of Cimarron and plans to continue in that post.
He and his wife have two sons and four grandchildren.
District magistrate judges in the 16th Judicial District are elected by partisan ballot. Duncan was last elected to a four-year term in November 2016.