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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new justice has joined the state’s highest court.

Justice Gary Clingman was sworn in on Monday in Santa Fe to temporarily fill a seat vacated by Justice Edward L. Chavez.

Chavez retired in March, and Clingman recently was appointed to the New Mexico Supreme Court by Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican.

Clingman is from Hobbs, and has been a district judge since 1997.

He’s a graduate of the University of Texas and Texas Tech Law School. Martinez says he also is a former law enforcement officer.

New Mexico voters will choose a candidate in the general election to permanently fill the seat.