Carson City Justice of the Peace Kristin Luis has been appointed by Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo to the First Judicial District Court seat being vacated Jan. 8.
Elizabeth Ray, communications director for the governor’s office, confirmed Tuesday the appointment is official, though a formal announcement is forthcoming. The appointment will fill the time between when current District Judge James Wilson leaves office (Wilson is retiring Jan. 8) and the general election in November when a judge will be elected for the rest of Wilson’s term ending Jan. 4, 2027.
Luis told the Appeal on Tuesday she was planning to file for the new seat. She said she received the call from the governor Dec. 15 during a Christmas party at the courthouse and was a little anxious knowing the kinds of cases that go to district court. However, she said she would be prepared.
“My work ethic has probably carried me through everything I’ve done,” she said.
Luis discussed what she called the good fortune of working with Wilson and fellow District Judge James Russell over the years and what she’s learned from both men. She said she would have big shoes to fill.
Luis was elected Justice of the Peace in 2018, becoming the first female judge to serve in the position, and now she will be the first female judge in First Judicial District Court, according to city officials.
“To me, it’s a huge sense of responsibility,” she said. “I would like my legacy to leave no doubt for anyone else that women are capable of doing as good of a job as anyone else and bring a different dynamic to the bench. I care about being effective and doing a good job, and I care about what that legacy is for future women in these positions. It matters to me.”
Fellow Justice of the Peace Thomas Armstrong, who was also a finalist for the district court vacancy, told the Appeal on Tuesday he will seek reelection for his seat in Carson City Justice and Municipal Court.
Luis was also up for reelection this next year. The Carson City Board of Supervisors can fill a vacancy for Justice of the Peace through appointment, though the position would still be on the ballot for the general election in November, and any candidates would need to file accordingly.