Nominations sought for judicial vacancy

Staff Writer
The Leavenworth Times

Nominations are being sought to fill a vacancy that will be created by the retirement of a judge in the 1st Judicial District, according to a news release from the Kansas Judicial Branch.

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

Members of the 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission will interview applicants for the position of district judge and forward the names of three to five nominees to the governor. The governor will select one of the nominees to fill the vacancy.

The vacancy is being created by the July 17 retirement of Judge Michael Gibbens.

Individuals can apply for the vacancy or be nominated. But nominations must come on a nomination form and include the nominee’s signature.

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 and a resident of the judicial district at the time of taking office and while holding office.

Nominations must be accompanied by a nomination form available from the clerk of the district court in Atchison or Leavenworth counties, the clerk of the appellate courts at the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka or online at

One original and nine copies of the completed nomination form and supporting letters must be submitted by noon July 10 to Ronald Bates Jr., commission secretary, 529 Delaware St. in Leavenworth.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene to interview nominees at 9 a.m. July 28. The meeting location will be announced later. Interviews are open to the public.

After the commission forwards the names of three to five nominees to Gov. Laura Kelly, the governor will have 60 days to decide whom to appoint, according to the news release.

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.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen, who serves as the nonvoting chairman, Bates, Leavenworth, Julia Clem and Rosemary Nies of Atchison, Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson, Basehor, Leavenworth City Commissioner Mark Preisinger, Kevin Reardon, Leavenworth, and Lois Meadows and Geoffrey Sonntag of Tonganoxie.