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Top Kansas Democrat Questions Brownback’s Court Nominee

Associated Press - August 28, 2013 8:05 pm

A Shawnee County judge declared a mistrial on a murder charge against a Topeka man involved in fatal road-rage confrontation.

The Kansas Senate’s top Democrat questions whether Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s nominee for the state Court of Appeals is qualified for the position.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said Wednesday that Caleb Stegall isn’t qualified to serve on the state’s second-highest court if one or more district court judges also applied for the seat.

Stegall is Brownback’s chief counsel and has not been a judge.

Brownback has declined to disclose the names of other candidates for the Court of Appeals seat. Hensley said the public can’t compare Stegall to other candidates.

But Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said Hensley is engaged in partisan politics and is the only person so far who has questioned publicly whether Stegall is qualified.

Stegall has received endorsement letters from both Republicans and Democrats.