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TOPEKA—The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission is seeking nominations to fill two district judge vacancies.
The vacancies are due to two retirements. Judge David Debenham will retire June 14 and Judge Nancy Parrish June 24.  
The 3rd Judicial District is Shawnee County.  
Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court departmental justice responsible for the 3rd Judicial District, said individuals can apply or be nominated, but nominations must come on a nomination form and include the nominee's signature.
Eligibility requirements
A nominee for district judge must be: 

  • at least 30 years old; and
  • 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.
  • a resident of the judicial district at the time of taking office and while holding office.

Nomination process
Nominations must include a nomination form available from the Shawnee County clerk of the district court; the clerk of the appellate courts in the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka; or online at or
Nominations may be submitted electronically or by paper copy, and one nomination form can be used for both vacancies. The deadline to submit a nomination with supporting documents is noon Tuesday, May 3.
Electronic submissions can be sent to
Paper submissions require one original and one copy to be sent to:
Justice Caleb Stegall
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka KS 66612
Public interviews
The nominating commission will convene to interview nominees at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 26 at the Shawnee County Courthouse. Interviews are open to the public.
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
Nominees to governor
The nominating commission will select from three to five people for each vacancy whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the positions 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 Whitney Casement, Thomas Lemon, Randall Phillips, Rebecca Sanders, and Eric Stafford, Topeka.  

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