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Twenty-two Iowans apply for Iowa Supreme Court vacancy

Iowa Supreme Court

DES MOINES – Twenty-two Iowans have applied with the State Judicial Nominating Commission to fill the vacancy on the Iowa Supreme Court that will occur when Justice Bruce Zager retires September 3, 2018. 

The nominating commission will meet Monday, July 9, in the Iowa Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building to interview the applicants. The public is invited to observe the interviews in the courtroom. The interviews will also be live streamed and the videos archived on the Iowa Judicial Branch YouTube channel for those unable to observe in person. A schedule of the interviews will be posted at as soon as the schedule is available.

Immediately following the interviews, the commission will begin deliberations to select a slate of three nominees from the group of applicants.  Once the commission selects its slate of nominees, the commission will forward those names to the governor. The governor will then have thirty (30) days in which to appoint the new justice.

Each applicant’s application is posted at: .

The commission welcomes written comments from the public about the qualifications of any of the applicants. Comments must be submitted to the secretary of the commission by the conclusion of all of the interviews. Comments may be e-mailed to Comments may also be mailed to the Iowa State Judicial Nominating Commission Secretary, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319.

The 17-member commission is composed of a chair, who is the senior justice of the supreme court other than the chief justice, eight lawyer commissioners elected by lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa and eight non-lawyer commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. With the exception of the commission chair, membership on the commission is limited to one six-year term. Terms are staggered. The Iowa Constitution requires that commission members be chosen without regard to political affiliation. For more information about Iowa’s process for selecting judges at .

The applicants for the court are:

Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge, Fifth Judicial District, Des Moines

Mary Chicchelly, District Court Judge, Sixth Judicial District, Cedar Rapids

Susan Christensen, District Court Judge, Fourth Judicial District, Harlan

Terri Combs, Attorney, Faegre Benson Daniels, LLP, West Des Moines

Jean Dickson, Attorney, Betty, Neuman & McMahon, PLC, Bettendorf

Barb Diment, Attorney, Barb Diment Law PLC, West Des Moines

Timothy Gartin, Attorney, Hastings, Gartin & Boettger, Ames

Mary Pat Gunderson, Attorney, Des Moines

Andrew Kahl, Assistant United States Attorney, US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines

Mitchell Kunert, Attorney, Nyemaster Good, P.C., Des Moines

Christine Lebron-Dykeman, Attorney, McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC, Des Moines

Kellyann Lekar, District Court Judge, First Judicial District, Waterloo

Lana Luhring, Attorney, Lair and Luhring Law Office, Center Point

Christopher McDonald, Court of Appeals Judge, Iowa Court of Appeals, Des Moines

Craig Nierman, Attorney, Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker & Gelman, LLP, Iowa City

Destria Relph, District Court Judge, Fifth Judicial District, Corydon

Allan Richards, Attorney, Richards Law Firm, Tama

Anjela Shutts, Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., Des Moines

Abbe Stensland, Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel, Central State Bank, Lisbon

Patrick Tott, District Court Judge, Third Judicial District, Sioux City

Molly Weber, Assistant Attorney General, Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Adel

Lisa Williams, Assistant United States Attorney, US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Iowa, Iowa City

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