Fort Hays State University Relations
Fort Hays State University alum Blake Bittel was appointed Wednesday as a 23rd District Judge by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
Bittel, who was born in WaKeeney and grew up in Ellis, is currently engaged in private law practice in Hays with Kennedy Berkley Yarnevich & Williamson. He graduated from FHSU in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, then attended Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he graduated in 1997.
After winning Tuesday’s Republican primary and being unopposed in the November general election, Bittel was now able to be appointed. He will be sworn in Aug. 29 at the Ellis County Courthouse. Bittel fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Edward Bouker to become a Kansas Senior Judge. The 23rd District is comprised of Ellis, Gove, Rooks and Trego counties.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I guess I’m ready to move on, try a new challenge,” Bittel said, “take my experience and put it to work in a different way.”
Bittel said attending FHSU proved beneficial for him in his career.
“My experience at Fort Hays State built a really good foundation for graduate school,” Bittel said. “I was pretty active in the political science department.”
Bittel remembers participating in Model United Nations while at FHSU.
“You didn’t just sit in the classroom,” he said. “You were able to do things and interact with professors. You could sit down in your advisor’s office and visit with him about your goals.”