Spokane County commissioners have chosen nine finalists for the District Court seat vacated in July by Judge Richard White.
Commissioners cut a field of 19 in half after discussing the applicants in a closed meeting earlier this week.
The finalists are:
• Randy Brandt, 59, a state administrative law judge since he was laid off in December 2009 after six years as a District Court commissioner. Previously in private practice.
• Chris Bugbee, 44, a criminal defense attorney who previously was a deputy prosecutor and ran unsuccessfully for prosecutor in last year’s primary election.
• Brad Chinn, 63, a former District Court commissioner who was laid off in a downsizing, and now is a state administrative law judge.
• Donald Kellman, 57, a solo practitioner who also is executive director of the Spokane New Car Dealers’ Association.
• Mark Laiminger, 53, who has been a Spokane County deputy prosecutor for 24 years. He ran for a District Court seat in 2006 and lost.
• Richard Leland, 58, who has mostly been in private practice since 1990. He was a city of Spokane assistant public defender for about a year.
• Julie McKay, 45, who has been in private practice for 20 years.
• Michael Nelson, 60, a Spokane County deputy prosecutor; previously in private and corporate practice, an assistant Spokane prosecutor and a Salt Lake City police officer.
• Robert Seines, 57, who served nearly 11 years as a District Court commissioner until the position was eliminated in December and he returned to private practice.
A Spokane County Bar Association committee rated Bugbee, Kellman, Leland, McKay and Seines exceptionally qualified.
The 11-member committee said Chinn, Laiminger and Nelson are well-qualified, and Brandt is qualified.
The finalists include all the applicants who were rated exceptionally qualified and all of those rated well-qualified except Gloria Ochoa.
The appointee will have to stand for election next fall.