Warrenton native Kelly Broniec was appointed as a justice by Gov. Mike Parson to the Missouri State Supreme Court.
Warrenton native Kelly Broniec was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court on Sept. 12, just exactly three weeks after she was named one of three nominees to fill the vacancy of now-retired Judge George W. Draper III.
Broniec was named the state’s Supreme Court judge during a press conference at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City that included appearances from her husband Mark, daughters Hannah and Katie and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who lives in Rhineland. Missouri Governor Mike Parson made the announcement.
“I’m thankful to Governor Parson and to his great staff,” Broniec said. “I look forward to serving the citizens in this new role.”
On Aug. 22, Broniec joined a panel of nominees to fill the Supreme Court vacancy that was created by Draper’s retirement. The other nominees were Michael Gardner and Ginger Gooch.
Broniec will join a Missouri Supreme Court that includes three other women – Chief Justice Mary R. Russell and judges Patricia Breckenridge and Robin Ransom. The other members on the court are judges W. Brent Powell, Zel Fischer and Paul Wilson.
“It’s a very special opportunity for me and the court,” Broniec said. “I come from a small town. To have this opportunity to serve on the court with three other women and knowing that Missouri is one of only 11 states in the country to have a majority of women on the state’s highest court is quite an honor.”
A swearing-in date has yet to be scheduled. Per Missouri law, Broniec has to be sworn in within 30 days of her appointment.
“I will be in consultation with Chief Justice Russell to determine the swearing in date, but I expect it to be soon,” Broniec said.
Parson said the decision of picking a judge was tough. All three of the nominees earned their law degrees at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“As somebody who has appointed five statewide officer holders and filled over 135 judicial vacancies, more than any governor in our state history, that is saying something,” Parson said. “It is quite clear to me that each candidate has a public servant’s heart, and each would make a fine Supreme Court judge. This Supreme Court of Missouri serves a critical role in maintaining our system of justice, upholding the law and protecting both the Missouri and the United States constitutions.”
The governor said one of the main reasons Broniec was selected to fill the vacant role was her strong work ethic she inherited from her grandparents.
“Like so many of us, she came from humble beginnings,” Parson said. “She worked all through high school and college to pave her own way. She worked hard, worked her way up and now I’ll know she will work even harder for the people of the state of Missouri in our state’s highest court. Judge Broniec is a proud woman of faith who shows great dedication to her family, church and community. Her experience and perspective assure us that she will be a balanced and fair judge.”
Parson said Broniec is a strong advocate for Missouri children, helping improve Missouri’s foster care system and establishing a family treatment court in Warren County.
“Her passion for Missouri kids is something that I share and why I am confident that she would be an exceptional judge,” Parson said. “Her record shows that she is a fair enforcer of the law, interprets the law as written and leaves legislating to the General Assembly. We look forward to her successful tenure on our state’s highest court for years to come.”
Broniec, who now lives in Montgomery City, is already enjoying a successful judicial career. In late June, she was unanimously selected as the chief judge by the Court of Appeals in the Eastern District, which is the state’s largest court. She was picked as a judge of the Court of Appeals in 2020 after working as Montgomery County’s associate circuit judge for 14 years. She was the county’s prosecuting attorney for seven years.
Also last year, Broniec sat with the Missouri Supreme Court. She replaced Powell to hear an arbitration case. Now, Broniec will be sitting with the Missouri Supreme Court for good.
“Being appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri is a dream come true,” Broniec said.