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TOPEKA—The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene April 6 to interview nominees to fill a district magistrate judge vacancy in Osage County created by Judge Shannon Rush's February 1 resignation.

The 4th Judicial District is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties.


The nominees are:

  • Lori D. Breshears, paralegal and victim witness coordinator, Coffey County Attorney's Office, Burlington;

  • Joseph A. Falls, attorney, Lawrence; and

  • Tonya R. Vignery, attorney, Vassar.

Interviews and appointment

The nominating commission will convene by telephone conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, to determine the candidates to be interviewed.

The meeting is open to the public. To listen:

  • call 1-877-400-9499; and

  • enter conference code 2199381974

The nominating commission will convene at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 6, to interview nominees. Interviews are open to the public. After the interviews, the commission will appoint a district magistrate judge. The location for the interviews will be determined at a later date.

Any person with a disability who requires accommodation to access the nominating commission meetings 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

Kansas law requires that this district magistrate judge be:

  • a resident of Osage County at the time of taking office and while holding office;

  • a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent; and

  • either a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas or able to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court to become certified within 18 months.

Term of office

After serving one year in office, the new magistrate 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 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Eric Rosen as the nonvoting chair; Craig Cole, Garnett; Anthony Mersman, Greeley; Phyllis Gardner and Janet Walsh, Lyndon; Heather Landon, Ianne Dickinson, and Forrest Lowry, Ottawa; and Timothy Johnson, Waverly.


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