On Friday, Gov. Laura Kelly appointed Magistrate Judge Keith Collett, of Chapman, to the 8th Judicial District vacancy in Geary County created by the retirement of Judge Steven Hornbaker.

“Judge Collett has demonstrated his legal expertise and service to his community for nearly a decade as a magistrate judge,” Kelly said. “I am confident he will be an even greater asset to the 8th Judicial District as a district judge.”

Collett has served as Magistrate Judge in Dickinson and Geary County since 2012, presiding over a variety of civil, juvenile, probate and felony cases. He represented clients in private practice from 1989 until 2012, was elected Marion County attorney from 1989 to 1995, and served one year as attorney for the City of Marion in 2011.

Collett is a member of the Kansas Bar Association and the Kansas Judicial Council Guardianship and Conservatorship Committee. He is also involved with the Chapman High School drama program. He lives with his wife in Chapman.

“I am eager to serve as a district judge in Geary County and will try to bring my expertise, patience, encouragement and collegiality to the bench every day,” Collett said. “The mission of the judge is to be the face and voice of law in the courtroom, and I am honored to step into this role as a district judge.”

District court judges in the 8th Judicial District are appointed by the governor and selected from nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years.

The other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Krista Blaisdell as Geary County Attorney and Laura Viar as Morris County Attorney.

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