Governor Laura Kelly Appoints Maban Wright to Fill Vacancy in the 3rd Judicial District 


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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the appointment of Maban Wright, Topeka, to the 3rd Judicial District vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Debenham.

“Maban has an unmatched work ethic and has served the people of Shawnee county well as a public defender,” said Governor Kelly. “I know she will also put that same dedication and care towards her work as a Judge for the 3rd Judicial District.”

Wright is Chief Public Defender with the Third Judicial Public Defenders Office. Wright is active in the Kansas legal community as a member of the Women Attorney’s Association of Topeka, the Kansas Women Attorneys Association, and the Topeka Bar Association. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Idaho College of Law and resides with her family in Topeka.

“It is a great honor to serve the citizens of Shawnee County from the bench,” Wright said. “I am committed to providing every member of our community with an equal measure of judicial access, attention, and respect.”

District court judges in the 3rd Judicial District are appointed by the governor and selected from nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years.

The other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Brett Watson, Jay Befort, and Todd M. Thornburg.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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