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TOPEKA—The 5th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene by video conference at noon Thursday, June 30, to set the schedule to fill a district judge vacancy. 

The vacancy will be created when Chief Judge Merlin Wheeler retires September 3.  The 5th Judicial District is composed of Chase and Lyon counties.  
Public access   
The meeting is open to the public. It will take place via videoconference and will be livestreamed on the Kansas judicial branch YouTube channel. 
To comment: 

  • call 1-866-705-2554; and   

  • enter guest passcode 895421#.  

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   
Nominees 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 the governor   
The nominating commission will interview nominees for the district judge position and then select from three to five people 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.   
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 5th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Supreme Court Justice Melissa T. Standridge as the nonvoting chair; Leigh Ann Crofoot of Cottonwood Falls; Greg Bachman, Michael Helbert, Deanne Korsak, and Robert Symmonds of Emporia; Cynthia Hoedel of Matfield Green; Stephen Atherton of Olpe; and Charles Rayl of Strong City. 

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