BOISE — The state will not appoint a new district judge to fill the vacancy left by the death of Judge Randy Stoker, the Idaho Judicial Council announced this week.

Typically, when a district judge seat opens up before the judge’s term is set to expire, the Judicial Council puts out a notice for applicants to fill the seat. Finalists selected by the council then undergo an interview process with the governor, who makes a final decision.

But the timing of Stoker’s death complicates things. Stoker’s term expires Dec. 31, 2018, and those who wish to file their candidacy for the next district judge election must do so between Feb. 26 and Mar. 9.

It’s highly unlikely that the state will have selected a replacement by then, the council said in a statement, so any appointment that the governor made would have to be after candidates had already filed for the race.

Because of this timing — and because the replacement would be in office for such a short period — the state will not appoint a new district judge before the election, the council said.

In the meantime, the district will continue to rely on other current and retired district judges to temporarily fill Stoker’s seat.

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