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WATERLOO — A Waterloo area judge is a finalist for an open seat on the state’s highest court.

Justice Bruce Zager is stepping down from the Iowa Supreme Court, and on Tuesday the Iowa Judicial Branch announced District Court Judge Kellyann Lekar is one of the three top candidates for the vacancy.

Lekar, of Waterloo, is chief judge for the Waterloo-based 1st Judicial District. She earned her law degree from the University of Iowa in 1993 and was in private practice until she was appointed to the bench in 2005 by then-governor Thomas Vilsack.

“From the time that I entered law school, I knew that studying the law was the place where I wanted to be. From the time that I entered the practice of law, I knew that being in a courtroom and writing and arguing about legal concepts was what I wanted to do,” Lekar told the judicial nominating committee during her interview.

The other two candidates under consideration are Susan Christensen and Terri Combs.

Christensen is a district court judge from Harlan, and Combs is an attorney with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in West Des Moines

Gov. Kim Reynolds has 30 days to make the appointment.

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Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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