- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Gov. Susana Martinez has reappointed Court of Appeals Judge Stephen French to another spot on the appellate court.

French will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Michael Bustamante. French was among the two sitting judges and five lawyers who applied for the spot.

French is a Republican now serving on the court by appointment. He ran unsuccessfully for his current seat in the Nov. 8 general election, losing to Democrat Julie Vargas.

The governor’s office says French has a combined 35 years of public and private-sector legal experience. He served as an assistant district attorney in New Mexico’s most populous district - Bernalillo County - before becoming a founding partner at Walz & French.

French also is a past president of the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association.

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