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6th Judicial District Nominating Commission sends names of four nominees ...

TOPEKA—The 6th Judicial District Nominating Commission has sent the names of four nominees who are eligible to fill either of two district judge positions to Gov. Laura Kelly, who has 60 days to decide who will fill the positions.  
 
The district judge positions were certified by Supreme Court Administrative Order 2022-JA-020 after the Kansas Legislature passed and the governor signed 2022 House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill No. 267 to fund them.  
 
The 6th Judicial District is composed of Miami, Linn, and Bourbon counties.  
 
The nominees are:  

  • Richard Fisher Jr., Osawatomie, attorney

  • Valorie Leblanc, Fort Scott, district magistrate judge, 6th Judicial District  

  • Jacklyn Pasquale Paletta, Paola, partner, Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho PLC  

  • Elizabeth Sweeney-Reeder, Paola, Miami County attorney  


District judge appointment process  
 
To be considered for district judge, a nominee 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.  

 
The nominating commission selects three to five people whose names are 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, a 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 6th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Evelyn Wilson as the nonvoting chair; Patton Apple, Louisburg; Mark McCoy and Zackery Reynolds, Fort Scott; Todd Schneider, Mound City; Mary Stephenson, Paola; and Ronald Wood, Louisburg.