Panel announces finalists to replace retiring Douglas County judge

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.

After interviewing 10 judge candidates on Thursday, the 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission has announced four finalists it’s recommending to the governor.

On the list are two public prosecutors and two public defenders. They are all Lawrence residents.

Gov. Laura Kelly has 60 days to decide whom to appoint to replace Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin, who’s retiring June 15.

The four nominees, according to a news release Friday, are:

• Stacey Donovan, chief public defender, Shawnee County Public Defender Office.

• Carl Folsom III, assistant federal public defender, U.S. District Court of Kansas.

• Shon Qualseth, assistant attorney general of Kansas.

• Mark Simpson, assistant district attorney, Douglas County.

District judges do not undergo a Senate confirmation process. After one year in office, the new judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the judge will serve a four-year term.

Martin has been on the bench 25 years, since being appointed by Gov. Joan Finney in 1994.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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