Two lawyers working for the Kansas attorney general and the Shawnee County District Court's chief judge were nominated Friday for a vacancy on the Kansas Supreme Court resulting from the retirement of Justice Lee Johnson.
State law allows Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly a 60-day period to select from among Shawnee County Judge Evelyn Wilson and attorney general's office counsel Dennis Depew and Steven Obermeier. It would be the governor's first appointment to the state's highest court.
The trio were selected by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission from among 19 applicants who were interviewed. Johnson retired in September.
Wilson, of Topeka, has been a judge in the 3rd Judicial District since 2004 and the district's chief judge since 2014. She was managing partner of Wright Henson Somers Sebelius Clark & Baker, of Topeka, where she worked from 1992 to 2004. She taught at Washburn University's law school from 2001 to 2004.
She graduated from WU's School of Law in 1985 and received a bachelor's degree in business and economics at Bethany College.
Depew, of Neodesha, has worked for the state attorney general's office since 2015 and serves as deputy attorney general and chief of the civil litigation division.
He previously was an attorney and partner in Depew Law Firm for 32 years. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1983. He earned undergraduate degrees from KU and Independence Community College.
Obermeier, Olathe, has been assistant solicitor general for the attorney general's Office since 2017. He was in private practice for a year after working for the Johnson County district attorney's office for 31 years. He earned a law degree at Washburn and a journalism degree at KU.