Democrat Mike Nichols has launched his campaign for Wyandotte County District Court Judge, citing his years of experience representing the citizens of Wyandotte County.
He is running for the Division 5 position, as Judge Dexter Burdette is retiring later this year. Jane Sieve Wilson also is running for the Division 5 position.
Nichols, a former Wyandotte County prosecutor, has spent the last several years as a lawyer in private practice in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. He handles criminal, divorce, child custody, juvenile, probate and guardianship cases.
“My practice involves being in court in Wyandotte County almost every day. Whether a client is going through a divorce, fighting for custody of their children or has been charged with a crime, they are usually going through something really difficult in their lives when they come to me,” Nichols said. “Going to court can be scary and unfamiliar, and it’s my job to help my clients make sense of it all. As a judge, I will never forget what the people who come into my courtroom are going through, and I will do everything I can to make sure they are treated fairly.”
Nichols’ experience as a prosecutor and an attorney in private practice includes more than 40 jury trials in Wyandotte County courts. He was recognized as a top-rated attorney by Super Lawyers Magazine.
He has served as a judge pro tem in Wyandotte County District Court, particularly in the Drug Court program. He also has spoken in the state capitol about legal issues, and is asked to share his knowledge with other lawyers, in person or teaching seminars.
Nichols is a member of the Wyandotte County Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board and the Wyandotte County Bench-Bar Committee, where he works to try to improve the legal system.
Nichols also serves as a guardian ad litem for persons suffering from mental illness, adults who can no longer care for themselves and children who need someone to give them a voice. He has received training in this area as well as training on how to work with patients who have suffered trauma.
“There are a lot of vulnerable people in Wyandotte County and I am always amazed by the number of people in this community who give their time and energy to help those in need,” he said. “There are grandparents, aunts and uncles who don’t think twice about taking on the responsibility of raising a loved one’s child. There are friends and family who take on the incredible task of caring for an adult who because of age, disability or illness are unable to care for themselves. There are a lot of things that I love about my job but working with those folks is the most rewarding thing I do.”
Nichols has not previously run for office. He grew up in Anthony, Kansas, a small town in the south central area of the state, and moved here more than 10 years ago.
Nichols is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he earned both a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a law degree. After graduation, he went to work in the Wichita district attorney’s office, and after a few months, moved to the Kansas City area to work with the Wyandotte County district attorney’s office. After three years there, he went into private practice, where he has been since 2011.
He and his wife Casey met in Kansas City, Kansas, and chose to start a family here. They have two daughters, ages 4 and 2, and their oldest daughter attends pre-school at St. Patrick’s Catholic School.
In addition to serving on the Wyandotte County Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board, Nichols also serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership 2000 and previously served as its chairman.