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Governor Kelly Withdraws Nominee for a Kansas Court Seat Over Past Tweets

Governor Laura Kelly speaking last week with Judge Jeffry Jack. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)
Governor Laura Kelly speaking last week with Judge Jeffry Jack. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

UPDATE: Gov. Kelly announced Tuesday morning that she is withdrawing her nominee for an appeals court seat after past tweets showed Jeffry Jack insulting the president and calling for gun control.

“It’s unacceptable for a sitting judge, who must be seen as unbiased and impartial, to post personal political views on social media,” Kelly said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Kelly will ask for a new round of candidates, and this time she wants the nominating committee to search for any social media accounts.

“It’s clear that despite a thorough review and investigation, this was missed,” Kelly said. "In an era when we increasingly see Twitter and other social media platforms being used to attack and divide, we can and must do better."

Republican Senate leaders called yesterday for Kelly to withdraw the nomination. The Senate will have to confirm whoever Kelly picks.

Tweets from 2017 show Jack calling for firearm regulations andinsulting President Trump. The tweets also include profanity aimed at some elected officials.

Senate President Susan Wagle said the comments should disqualify him from serving on the Kansas Court of Appeals.

“He’s obviously politically biased and he just isn’t the type of personality that you want on the bench," she said.

Jack is currently serving as a district court judge in Labette County and he’s a former state lawmaker.

Kelly created a nominating committee to screen applicants for the Court of Appeals vacancy. She picked Jack from among their list of three finalists.

Stephen Koranda has more:


Stephen Koranda is KPR's Statehouse reporter.