ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tapped a veteran judge to serve on the state’s highest court.

The Democratic governor on Thursday announced that he will nominate Paul Feinman to serve on the Court of Appeals. Feinman has been a judge for more than 20 years. Cuomo appointed him as an associate justice in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in 2012.

If confirmed by the Senate he will be the first openly gay judge on the Court of Appeals.

He would fill a vacancy created by the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who was found dead in the Hudson River near her Manhattan home in April.

Cuomo says Feinman is a talented jurist dedicated to public service.

Feinman said the nomination is a “tremendous honor.”