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Kelly Lawson appointed to Kenai Superior Court

 The Alaska Judicial Council is interviewing candidates next week to fill a vacancy on the Kenai Superior Court.
Sabine Poux
The Alaska Judicial Council nominated four candidates to a vacant seat on the Kenai Superior Court.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed Anchorage Attorney Kelly Lawson to the Kenai Superior Court.

Superior Court judges have the broadest jurisdiction of any judge, and the courthouse in Kenai has three.

Lawson will fill a vacancy left by the retirement of Jennifer Wells, who announced she would leave her position last fall. The seven-member council tasked with finding her replacement solicited applications in October and met earlier this year to review applicants.

The council originally received 11 applications, and narrowed their recommendations down to four judges after a series of interviews in January.

Of those four nominees, Lawson was theonly one not approved unanimously by the council. Theother nominees were Katherine Ann Elsner, a lawyer from Kenai, Elizabeth Ledue from the Kenai Office of Public Advocacy and William T. Montgomery, a district court judge in Bethel.

According to a statement from Gov. Dunleavy, Lawson is a lifelong Alaska resident and a graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. She has practiced law for almost 20 years, and works as a victims’ rights attorney in Anchorage.

Riley Board is a Report For America reporter covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL.