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A panel announced Thursday that it will advance three candidates to Gov. Steve Bullock for appointment to the Montana Supreme Court.

The Judicial Nomination Commission selected Ingrid Gayle Gustafson, William Russell McElyea and Micheal F. Lamb for Bullock’s consideration to replace retiring Justice Mike Wheat. Bullock has 30 days to make the appointment.

Gustafson is a district court judge in Billings, McElyea is the chief water judge for Montana and Lamb is a Helena attorney.

The commission’s submissions follow a 30-day public comment period and interviews with five candidates. Billings attorney Martha Sheehy and Helena attorney James Gebhard Hunt were not selected.

Judicial Nomination Commission members are District Judge John C. Brown of Bozeman; Janice Bishop of Missoula, Karl Englund of Missoula, Elizabeth Halverson of Billings; Hal Harper of Helena; Lane Larson of Billings; and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.

The judgeship is subject to election in 2018. The successful candidate will then serve until January 2023.


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