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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed state District Judge Richard Darby to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.

Darby, who’s been a judge in Oklahoma for more than 30 years, was named Thursday to succeed former Justice Joseph Watt, who retired last year.

Darby, of Altus, has served as a district judge in Jackson, Kiowa, Tillman, Greer and Harmon counties since 1994. Before that, he served as a special judge and an associate district judge in Jackson County.

Fallin chose Darby for the state’s highest court from three applicants that were submitted to her by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission.

Justices on the nine-member Supreme Court serve as long as they are able and must appear on an election ballot and be retained by voters every six years.