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Panel picks finalists for New Mexico Supreme Court vacancies

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has several candidates to choose from as she looks to fill two vacancies on the New Mexico Supreme Court. (File Photo)

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has several candidates to choose from as she looks to fill two vacancies on the New Mexico Supreme Court.

A nominating commission interviewed more than a dozen candidates and heard public comments Thursday before whittling the list down to seven.

They include state Court of Appeals Chief Judge Linda Vanzi and district judges C. Shannon Bacon, James Waylon Counts, Timothy Glenn Ellington and David K. Thomson. Also on the list are William Daniel Slease, chief disciplinary counsel for the high court, and Santa Fe attorney Jane Bloom Yohalem.

It's up to Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who took office on Jan. 1, to appoint replacements for recently retired Justices Charles Daniels and Petra Maes. The appointed justices will stand for election in 2020 to serve out the remainder of terms that end in 2026.

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