Under current law, the Governor may appoint a replacement whenever a judicial or district attorney position becomes open, which occurs from time to time due to resignation, mandatory retirement, or otherwise.  The pool of persons from whom the Governor can choose is wide open.  An appointed replacement then holds the office until the next election (more or less).

House Bill 335, introduced Monday, would change that system.  Under the bill, upon such a vacancy, an executive committee of the political party with which the vacating member was affiliated when elected, if any, would convene to compile a list of three recommendations for the Governor.  The Governor would then be required to appoint from that list.

–Matt Leerberg