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Longest-serving district court judge in New Mexico retiring after serving more than 40 years

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SOCORRO, New Mexico — New Mexico's longest-serving state judge is stepping down after more than 40 years on the bench.

District Judge Edmund Kase III of Socorro is retiring this month, and a bipartisan commission will meet in August to screen candidates for the vacancy.

Kase became a judge in 1971, and serves in the 7th Judicial District, which covers Catron, Sierra, Socorro and Torrance counties.

Lawyers have until July 31 to submit applications to be considered for the judgeship.

A Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Aug. 8 at the Socorro County Courthouse to interview applicants and recommend candidates for possible appointment by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

The commission's meeting is open to the public. The panel is made up of judges, lawyers and members of the public.

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