Monday was the deadline for candidates applying to replace Judge John Hoffmann, who retired last month from the Waupaca County Circuit Court.
Five area lawyers have submitted their applications for the vacant seat with the governor’s office.
Seeking appointment to the bench are two Waupaca County assistant district attorneys, Vicki Clussman, of Waupaca, and Brenda Freeman, of New London, as well as Keith Steckbauer, a Dale attorney and president of the New London School Board.
Edmund Jelinski, of Menasha, and Julie Sawyer, of Stevens Point, also submitted applications.
Gov. Scott Walker will appoint an interim judge until one is elected on April 1, 2014.
If more than two candidates seek election to the bench, then a primary will be held on Feb. 18, 2014.
Brian Hagedorn, the governor’s chief legal counsel, described the judicial appointment as a three-phase process.
During the first phase, lawyers seeking appointment submit applications which include information about their education, career and some of their more substantial cases.
Under the state constitution, only lawyers licensed to practice in Wisconsin for at least five years may serve as judges.
A judicial selection advisory committee reviews the applications.
Comprised of lawyers from across the state, the committee is chaired by Michael Brennan, a former Milwaukee County circuit court judge who is currently a trial and appellate lawyer in Milwaukee.
“They make recommendations for who should have interviews,” Hagedorn said. “Sometimes, the advisory committee also conducts interviews.”
At the second phase of the judicial process, Hagedorn interviews candidates recommended by the committee.
Then, a select few are interviewed by the governor.
“We are going to try to move it as quickly as we can,” Hagedorn said when asked about the appointment’s timeline.