- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The committee helping Gov. Scott Walker select a replacement for retiring state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser said it has narrowed the field of candidates from 11 to five.

The 73-year-old Prosser announced in April he plans to retire on July 31. Walker has the power to appoint his replacement.

Walker’s office announced Wednesday that an advisory committee interviewed the candidates Monday and recommends inviting five candidates back for a second interview.

The candidates include Mark Gundrum and Thomas Hruz, both state appeals court judges; Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick; Marinette County Circuit Judge James Morrison; and attorney Daniel Kelly.

Gundrum was elected to the state Assembly as a Republican in 1998 and served alongside Walker in the chamber. Walker appointed him to the 2nd District Court of Appeals in 2011. The governor appointed Hruz to the 3rd District Court of Appeals in 2014. Walker also appointed Morrison to his judgeship in Marinette County in 2012.

Koshnick is the father of Walker’s chief staff attorney. Kelly is a Waukesha-based attorney who specializes in campaign finance, contracts and defending government agencies. He defended Republicans’ 2011 legislative redistricting plan in a federal lawsuit alleging the maps denied voters their rights.

The committee did not recommend a second interview for River Falls attorney Andrew Brown; Madison attorney Claude Covelli; Brian Hagedorn, who served as Walker’s chief attorney before the governor appointed him as a 2nd District appellate judge last year; Wisconsin Public Service Commission Chairwoman Ellen Nowak; Milwaukee attorney Paul Scoptur; and Madison attorney Jim Troupis.

Walker plans to announce his pick by July 31.

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