Gov. Kelly makes appointment to vacancy in 2nd Judicial District

(Gray Media)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 5:14 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has made an appointment to fill a district court vacancy in the 2nd Judicial District.

Governor Laura Kelly says she has appointed Christopher Etzel of Havensville to the 2nd Judicial District vacancy that was created by the retirement of Chief Judge Gary Nafziger.

“I’m pleased at the opportunity to appoint Chris to this position – he will be an excellent judge for the Second Judicial District,” Governor Kelly said. “He has deep roots in the community. He knows the people of Jackson, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee, and Jefferson counties, and through his law practice, he knows the issues facing our justice system. I am confident every lawyer, plaintiff, or defendant appearing in front of him will be fairly heard and treated with dignity and respect.”

According to Gov. Kelly, Etzel has been in private practice since 2004 and has handled a variety of civil and criminal cases. She said he also serves as the City Attorney for Onaga, Havensville and Wheaton. In this role, she said he prosecutes cases in municipal court and provides legal counsel to the cities.

Gov. Kelly said Etzel has extensive community involvement through various educational and civic groups like the Second Judicial District Juvenile Correctional Advisory Board and the Onaga Chamber of Commerce. She said he also never misses an opportunity to support his children in their school and sports activities.

According to Gov. Kelly, Etzel graduated from Kansas State University in 2000 and earned his law degree from Washburn University School of Law in 2004. She said he lives with his wife and children in Havensville.

“Becoming a district judge for my community will be an honor, but being a judge is not about personal honors, it’s about service,” Etzel said. “I thank Governor Kelly and the Second District Nominating Commission for the trust they have placed in me to serve as a judge. I will work every day to make sure that my courtroom and our justice system are worthy keepers of that trust.”

Gov. Kelly said the district court judges in the 2nd Judicial District are appointed by the governor and chosen from nominees sent in by a district nominating commission. She said judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years.

According to Gov. Kelly, the other two nominees chosen by the district nominating commission were Shawna Miller, a Jackson Co. Attorney and municipal judge for Hoyt and Mayetta, and Joshua Ney, a Jefferson Co. Attorney and private practice attorney.

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