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TOPEKA—The 25th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene March 12 to interview six nominees to fill a district judge vacancy in Finney County created by Judge Ricklin Pierce's January 13 retirement.

The 25th Judicial District is composed of Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Scott, and Wichita counties.


The nominees are:

  • Kristi Marie Cott, Garden City, private practice attorney;

  • Harry Edward Frock, Scott City, Scott County district magistrate judge;

  • Kristin Kandt, Garden City, Garden City municipal judge and Finney County general counsel;

  • Brian R. Sherwood, Garden City, assistant Finney County attorney;

  • Christopher James Velez, Syracuse, Hamilton County district magistrate judge; and

  • Timothy Robert Woods, Garden City, Finney County district magistrate judge.

Public interviews

The commission will meet by videoconference to interview nominees at 9 a.m. Friday, March 12.

The interviews are open to the public and will be livestreamed on the Kansas judicial branch YouTube channel.

Any person with a disability who requires accommodation to access the nominating commission meeting should notify the judicial branch ADA coordinator as early as possible, preferably 10 working days before the meeting date:

ADA Coordinator
TTY at 711

Eligibility requirements

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.

Nominees to governor

The nominating commission will interview nominees and then select from three to five people whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the position according to statutory qualification and residency requirements. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

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.

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 25th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Dan Biles as the nonvoting chair; Lucille Douglass, William Heydman, John Lindner, Zachary Schultz, and Thomas Walker, Garden City; Gene Gaede, Holcomb; Ralph Goodnight, Lakin; Rita Wiles, Leoti; Christine Cupp, Scott City; Robert Gale Jr. and Timothy Kohart, Syracuse; and Deborah Kuttler, Tribune.


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