TOPEKA – The 8th Judicial Nomination Commission is convened on August 18 to interview 12 candidates to fill two vacant positions for district judges.
The positions are due to two retirements. Judge Steven Hornbaker, who served in Geary County, retired June 1. Chief Judge Michael Powers will retire on August 20th. His location is in Marion County
The 8th judicial district consists of Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties.
Samantha Angell, lawyer in her own practice
Krista Blaisdell, Geary District Attorney
Keith Collett, District Judge, Dickinson County
Amy Coppola, Geary District Judge
Bobby Hiebert, Assistant District Attorney, Geary County
Douglas Jones, District Judge, 5th District
Valorie Leblanc, District Judge, 6th Judicial District
Jason Oxford, Assistant District Attorney, Geary County
Susan Robson, attorney in private practice
Britain Stites, City Attorney, Junction City
Laura Viar, Morris County District Attorney
Jennifer Wyatt, lawyer in her own practice
The commission received an incomplete nomination and will interview that nominee at 2:20 pm if accepted
The nomination committee will meet on Wednesday, August 18, at 9 a.m. to interview the nominees at:
Geary County Courthouse
138 E 8th Street
The interviews are public.
Anyone attending in person must adhere to public health requirements set out in the Supreme Court Administrative Order. This includes answering questions at check-in about symptoms or possible exposure to COVID-19, wearing a face mask around the building, and keeping a physical distance of 6 feet from others.
Any person with a disability who requires accommodation to attend the Nominations Committee meeting should notify the ADA Justice Department Coordinator as early as possible, preferably 10 working days prior to the meeting date:
TTY at 711
Candidates for the district judge must be:
● At least 30 years old;
● A Kansas licensed attorney who has served as an attorney, judge, or full-time teacher in a recognized law school for at least five years; and
● Meet the housing requirements specific to the position.
Candidates for the Hornbaker position must be resident in the judicial district at the time of taking office and during the term of office.
Candidates for the Powers position must be residents of Marion County at the time of taking office and during their tenure.
Candidate for governor
The nomination committee will interview the nominees and then select three to five people whose names will be presented to the governor to fill the position according to legal qualification and residency requirements. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide who to appoint.
If there are not three candidates resident in the judicial district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider candidates residing outside the judicial district.
Terms and Conditions
After one year in office, the new magistrate must run for a majority in the next parliamentary election in order to remain in office. In the event of retention, the incumbent will serve for a four-year term.
The nomination committee for the 8th judicial district consists of Judge Caleb Stegall as chairman who is not entitled to vote; Kevin Harris and Douglas Thompson, Abilene; Ashley Iverson, Ratshain; Darrell Miller, Dwight; Keith Henry, Junction City; Daryl Enos and Edwin Wheeler Jr., Marion; and Eric Coffman, Milford.