Release: Governor-elect Laura Kelly announces nominating committee, applicants for Appellate Court vacancy

Reaffirming her commitment to transparency, Governor-elect Laura Kelly today announced the nominating committee and applicants for the Appellate Court vacancy. The Nominating Committee will review, interview, and recommend applicants to the governor after she is sworn in.

“This bipartisan committee brings a wide range of knowledge and experience that will be critical in selecting a highly-qualified person to fill this important judicial position,” said Kelly. “They share a dedication to making this process as open and transparent as possible. I look forward to seeing the candidates they select and sharing those with the people of Kansas.”

The names and short biographies of the nominating committee members are listed below:

David Rebein (Chair) is a trial lawyer from Dodge City, Kansas. Mr. Rebein is a past president of the Kansas Bar Association and has served two terms on the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

Tracee Adams is the President & CEO of Hawthorn Capital LLC. Investment & Wealth Management Firm. She is a resident of Wichita, Kansas.

Jennifer Cocking is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Capitol Federal Savings Bank in Topeka. Previously, she was a research attorney for the Hon. Lawton R. Nuss, Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.

Lon Frahm is a 6th generation farmer in Colby, Kansas. He holds degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business from Kansas State University.

Eloy Gallegos is a native of Garden City, Kansas. He graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2013 and is the owner of Gallegos Law, LLC.

Julie Menghini is a lifelong Kansan who served eight years in the Kansas House of Representatives. Menghini currently works for Pittsburg Community Schools.

Tom Niermann is an educator. He has taught in high schools and at the college level. He earned a PhD in American history from the University of Kansas and currently resides in Prairie Village, Kansas.

Tim Owens served in the Kansas Senate, the House of Representatives and the Overland Park City Council. Owens is a Vietnam Veteran who now serves as a volunteer Attorney Emeritus at Kansas Legal Services and an adjunct Political Science Professor at Johnson County Community College.

Linda Parks has practiced law in Wichita for more than 35 years. She is the managing partner of Hite, Fanning & Honeyman LLP. She practices in banking, real estate and commercial transactions and is also a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee.

Judicial Applicants

The deadline to apply for the vacancy on the Court of Appeals was noon on Friday, December 28th. As of that deadline, the following Kansans had submitted their applications for consideration:

Joni S. Cole, Wichita
Jay D. Befort, Topeka
Christopher E. Biggs, Junction City
Sarah E. Warner, Lenexa
Jeffry L. Jack, Parsons
Steven M. Roth, Topeka
Marcia A. Wood, Wichita
Constance L. Shidler, Overland Park
Carrie E. Josserand, Shawnee
Aaron L. Kite, Dodge City
Teresa L. Watson, Topeka
Steven J. Obermeir, Olathe
Michael F. McCulloch, Olathe
Daniel Cahill, Kansas City
Angela D. Gupta, Lake Quivira
Carl A. Folsom, III, Lawrence
John P.D. Washburn, Tecumseh
Steven P. Smith, Wichita

For more information about the merit-based selection process, click here.