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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.

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.