MANATEE -- Finalists for two judge vacancies are now in the hands of Gov. Rick Scott.
The 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission announced Wednesday it has sent six names to Scott for consideration in filling two judicial vacancies.
It's the next step in a process begun July 8 when the committee announced the positions were open after the retirements of judges Peter Dubensky and James Parker.
"The commission strongly felt that all the candidates that we are submitting to Gov. Scott for his consideration meet the standards and qualifications set forth within our rules of procedure and those include integrity, competency, intelligence, impartiality, temperament and independence," said William Robinson Jr., commission chairman.
Finalists for Dubensky's vacancy: Kevin Bruning, Hunter Carroll, Manatee Circuit Court Magistrate Renee Inman, Assistant State Attorney Brian Iten and Anthony Ryan.
Finalists for Parker's vacancy: Carroll, Judge Don Hall and Inman.
Carroll and Inman applied for both vacancies, according to Robinson. The nine-member commission narrowed down the finalists from 13 applicants.
Iten said he was honored to have an opportunity to pursue a circuit court judgeship.
"I've served the public in Manatee County for 21 years in the capacity of a prosecutor and, given that a senior judge is now retiring and other judges will be retiring in the future, it's created a need or a void that I
believe I can fill," said the 49-year-old Iten, who resides in Parrish.
Inman, appointed to her position in October 2010, said this is something she's wanted to do.
"I'm just honored to be on the list," the 41-year-old Parrish resident said. "There are some good attorneys on the list and I'm honored to be amongst them."
Hall, who works part time at the DeSoto County Courthouse, said he's really excited.
"I have been doing work out here for 20 years and I have been doing it part time under Judge Parker's supervision. I would really like the opportunity to do it full time," the 59-year-old said. "I'm just so happy to be selected."
Ryan, a criminal defense attorney based in Sarasota, said he, too, was excited to be among the finalists.
"I've been really humbled by the whole experience," the 45-year-old said. "It's a feather in my cap no matter what happens."
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.