The deputy county attorney for Leavenworth County has been appointed to serve as a judge.


Joan Lowdon was appointed Wednesday by Gov. Laura Kelly to serve as a judge in the 1st Judicial District, which comprises Leavenworth and Atchison counties.


"I’m incredibly grateful to my community and Gov. Kelly for the opportunity to serve as a district judge," Lowdon said in a news release. "Throughout my career I’ve been struck by the power of a judge to make a positive impact on people’s lives, especially for vulnerable children. I am eager to get to work to ensure that everyone appearing in my court is heard and that the law is applied impartially."


Lowdon was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the July retirement of District Judge Michael Gibbens.


Kelly selected Lowdon for the position after receiving the names of three nominees from a nominating commission for the 1st Judicial District.


"Throughout her career and during the interview process, Joan proved that she is not only ready to take on the responsibility of a district judge, but that she has the best interests of her community at heart," Kelly said in a news release. "I know she will do great things for the people of Atchison and Leavenworth counties, whether they are appearing in her courtroom or are community partners working to improve our justice system."


Lowdon has worked as a prosecutor for the Leavenworth County Attorney’s Office since 2011. She lives in Leavenworth County in the Bonner Springs area.


County Attorney Todd Thompson said Lowdon will be the first woman to serve as a judge in the 1st Judicial District.


"Joan is truly deserving of becoming our newest judge," Thompson said. "I know she will handle this position above reproach. It’s a big loss for our office, but a greater gain for our judicial system and state."


Lowdon does not yet know when she will begin her duties as a judge.


It also is unclear what type of cases Lowdon will preside over as a judge. Steve Crossland, court administrator for Leavenworth County District Court, said this will be determined in the coming weeks.


Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR