A commission is forwarding the names of four area attorneys to the governor for consideration for a judicial appointment.

A commission is forwarding the names of four area attorneys to the governor for consideration for a judicial appointment.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission interviewed nine people Wednesday. The members of the commission then voted to forward the names of Terri Harris, Michael Jones, Gerald Kuckelman and Joan Lowdon.

Gov. Jeff Colyer will appoint one of the nominees to fill a vacant judge position in the 1st Judicial District.

The 1st Judicial District is made up of Leavenworth and Atchison counties.

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen, who served as chairman of the nominating commission, said the notice of the commission’s decision will be hand delivered to the governor’s office.

“He will be apprised of our nominees (Thursday) at some point,” Rosen said.

He said the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will conduct background checks of the nominees, and the governor will make the appointment within 60 days.

Harris, who lives in Basehor, has a law practice in Leavenworth. Jones, who lives in Lansing, is an assistant county attorney in Leavenworth County. Kuckelman lives in Atchison and is the Atchison County attorney. Lowdon, who lives in Bonner Springs, is the deputy county attorney for Leavenworth County.

The governor’s appointment will fill a vacancy that was created by the retirement of Leavenworth County District Judge Gunnar Sundby.

Sundby retired in June and has taken a part-time position as a Kansas senior judge.

Rosen is a nonvoting member of the 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission. The voting members are G. Ronald Bates, Leavenworth; Julie Clem, Atchison; Lois Meadows, Tonganoxie; Rosemary Nies, Atchison; Mark Preisinger, Leavenworth; Kevin Reardon, Leavenworth; Todd Thompson, Basehor; and Douglas Waters Jr., Lansing.

Thompson is the county attorney for Leavenworth County. Preisinger is the mayor of Leavenworth.

The group met Wednesday at the Justice Center in Leavenworth. Their meeting was open to the public, but commissioners met behind closed doors in executive session for about 90 minutes after completing the interviews.

After returning to open session, they voted on the nominees they wished to advance.

Commissioners voted by ballot. Each commissioner initially voted for up to four nominees.

After the first round of voting, Rosen said Jones, Kuckelman and Lowdon each had seven votes. Harris and Geoffrey Sonntag, a local attorney who lives in Tonganoxie, each had five votes.

To narrow the list of nominees to four, commissioners then voted to determine whether Harris and Sonntag would advance.

In the second round of voting, Harris had five votes and Sonntag had three.

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