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31st Judicial District Nominating Commission sends names of three nominees ...

TOPEKA—The 31st Judicial District Nominating Commission has sent the names of three nominees for district judge to Gov. Laura Kelly, who has 60 days to decide who will fill the position.  
 
The new district judge position was among several 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 31st Judicial District is composed of Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties. 

The nominees are:  

  • Tod Davis, Iola, district magistrate judge, 31st Judicial District 

  • Dennis Depew, Neodesha, deputy attorney general, Kansas Attorney General’s Office 

  • Thomas Mikulka, Yates Center, district magistrate judge, 31st Judicial District 


 
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 position 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 31st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Evelyn Wilson as the nonvoting chair; Richard Pringle, Chanute; Nancy Burns and John Chenoweth, Fredonia; Douglas Depew, Neodesha; Craig Mentzer, Neosho Falls; Shelia Lampe, Piqua; Donald Greg Taylor, Stark; Zelda Schlotterbeck, Yates Center.