LEBANON (AP) - President Bush nominated Missouri state judge Gregory Kays to serve as a federal judge in Kansas City. If confirmed by the Senate, Kays would replace U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple, who took a senior status last year and hears less cases. Missouri Republican Senator Kit Bond calls Kays an ideal federal judge candidate and says he will sponsor Kays during the Senate confirmation process. Kays is 45 and from Lebanon. He is the presiding judge for the 26th Judicial Circuit, which covers Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau and Morgan counties. His nomination goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to forward it to the full Senate.