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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown announced she’s accepting applications to fill a pending vacancy on the Oregon Supreme Court, created by the retirement of Justice Rives Kistler on Dec. 31.

Brown said Thursday she’s looking for applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Earlier this year, the court gained its first black judge when Brown appointed Adrienne Nelson. In 2015, an Asian-American woman, Lynn Nakamoto, became the first minority woman on the bench.

Kistler, 69, expressed gratitude for the privilege of working with appellate courts and lawyers.

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Chief Justice Martha Walters called him a brilliant thinker who cares deeply about the law and people.

When Kistler was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003, he became the first openly-LGBT state Supreme Court justice in America.