- Associated Press - Monday, October 3, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will consider 13 candidates to fill three seats on the state Supreme Court.

Georgia’s Judicial Nominating Commission released its list of recommendations Monday. Seven members of the Georgia Court of Appeals and Republican state Sen. Charlie Bethel of Dalton are among those recommended for interviews with Deal.

The commission’s co-chairs have previously said they expect Deal to make his appointments by the end of October.

The decisions will give Deal a lasting impact on the state’s highest court before the end of his final term in office.

Two of the openings are due to legislation Deal backed expanding the court from seven justices to nine in January. The final opening will be created at the same time by Chief Justice Hugh Thompson, who plans to retire.

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