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Three nominees sent to governor for Iowa Supreme Court opening

DES MOINES — The state’s Judicial Nominating Commission has sent the governor the names of three judges as candidates to fill an opening on the Iowa Supreme Court.

Governor Reynolds now has 30 days to name a replacement for Justice Daryl Hecht. He resigned in mid-December, for health reasons.

Kellyann Lekar of Waterloo is the chief judge in Iowa’s first judicial district. She’s been a judge since 2005 and is one of the three nominees to replace Hecht. Dustria Relph, a district court judge from Corydon, worked as a nurse before becoming a lawyer and she’s on the nominee’s list. Christopher McDonald — the third nominee for the opening on the Iowa Supreme Court — is currently serving on the Iowa Court of Appeals.

Nineteen judges and attorneys were interviewed by the Judicial Nominating Commission for this opening on the state’s highest court. The commission’s work happened as Republican lawmakers, including Governor Reynolds, have discussed changing the membership of the commission.

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