Governor Laura Kelly has appointed Assistant Riley County Attorney Kendra Lewison as the next district judge in the 21st Judicial District.

Lewison’s appointment fills the vacancy created when former Chief Judge Meryl Wilson retired in June. Her name was one of four submitted to the governor’s office as a finalist for confirmation. The position encompasses Riley and Clay counties. She also becomes the first woman to serve as a district judge in the 21st Judicial District. After serving one year in office, Lewison will stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained she will serve a four-year term.

Gov. Kelly said in a news release “Kendra’s experience as both a prosecutor and in civil practice will help her hit the ground running. Her commitment to the legal profession, to public service, and to her community has prepared her to undertake the solemn duties and responsibilities of a district court judge.”

Lewison released the following statement after the announcement was made.

“Throughout my career I have sought every opportunity to serve my state and my community,” Lewison said, “and I will do everything I can to ensure a fair process and achieve just results in every case before me. I thank the nominating commission and Governor Kelly for the special honor of serving my home community as a district judge, and I look forward to carrying on the tradition of the excellent judges who have come before me.”

Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years. The three other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Amy Bipes (legal aid attorney, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate), James Kepple (Riley County District Magistrate Judge), and Phylemon Yau (Assistant Public Defender, State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services).

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