TOPEKA — A local face has been appointed as the new judge in the 11th district.

Frontenac attorney Jennifer Brunetti was named Friday by Gov. Jeff Colyer, in his first judicial appointment as governor.

Brunetti is in private practice in Frontenac. She previously was Frontenac City Attorney for 22 years and served as interim city administrator as well. She was also an assistant county attorney in Cherokee, Labette, Montgomery and Shawnee Counties. She received her undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University, and a law degree from Washburn University.

The 11th District is comprised of Cherokee, Crawford, and Labette Counties.

Brunetti said Monday she is unsure when she will be seated as she is waiting on a timeline from the Kansas Judicial Branch.

Brunetti said she is going to have to wind down her private practice and is also waiting on guidance on how to do that.

She said after some upheaval in her office — her long-time legal assistant passed away last April — she saw it as a good time to throw her hat in the ring for the seat vacated by Judge A.J. Wachter, who retired late last year.

“I was approached by some individuals who encouraged me to apply” she said. “I just decided to pursue it.”

Frontenac City Councilman Ethan Spurling said at the time of her resignation last year he was grateful for Brunetti.

“I’m … grateful for her many years of service,” Spurling said.

Wachter, who was the chief justice of the 11th district, graduated from Pittsburg State University and Washburn Law School. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1961 to 1969, before entering private law practice until 2002 and formerly served as president of the Crawford County Bar Association.

The Kansas Supreme Court appointed Judge Oliver Kent Lynch to complete the remainder of the vacant term of chief judge in the 11th district and to serve a full two-year term beginning next year.

His appointment began December 19, 2017, and the two-year term is effective January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019.

— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.