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TOPEKA—The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet at 9 a.m., Friday, December 17, to interview nominees to fill a district judge vacancy created by Chief Judge Richard Anderson’s December 11 retirement. 

The 3rd Judicial District is Shawnee County. 

Public interviews 

Interviews are open to the public. They will take place in the Shawnee County Courthouse, 200 E. 7th St., Topeka. 

The interview schedule will be announced once it’s finalized.  

The nominees are: 

  • Jay Befort, Topeka, general counsel, Kansas Department of Revenue 

  • Kevin Cook, Topeka, private practice 

  • Jessica Domme, Tecumseh, assistant attorney general 

  • Jessica Heinen, Topeka, deputy district attorney, Shawnee County 

  • Tonda Hill, Lawrence, assistant district attorney, Wyandotte County 

  • Jonathon Noble, Lawrence, public defender, Northeast Kansas Conflicts Office 

  • Todd Thornburg, Topeka, special assistant attorney general, Kansas Department of Labor 

  • Maban Smith Wright, Topeka, deputy public defender, 3rd Judicial Public Defender’s Office 

Accommodation 

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: 

ADA Coordinator 
ADA@kscourts.org 
785-296-2256 
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 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, a 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 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Caleb Stegall as the nonvoting chair; Toby McCullough, Rossville; and Daniel Crow, Thomas Lemon, Randall Phillips, Rebecca Sanders, and Eric Stafford, Topeka.  

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