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Six attorneys nominated for Manatee judgeship. Gov. DeSantis gets the final say

MLK Awards Banquet sees swearing in, honors

Judge Doug Henderson was sworn in and others reflect on the 24th Annual MLK Awards Banquet.
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Judge Doug Henderson was sworn in and others reflect on the 24th Annual MLK Awards Banquet.

Six local attorneys have been nominated to be considered by Gov. Ron. DeSantis to fill the vacancy that will be left when Manatee County Judge Doug Henderson retires later this year.

After more than 24 years on the bench, Henderson will retire at the end of September. His plans to retire became public after he sent a resignation to DeSantis in April.

On Friday, the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission interviewed eight candidates.

Six won nominations to be considered by DeSantis:

  • Heather Doyle, chief assistant state attorney for the 12th Judicial District.
  • James Fowler, private attorney.
  • Andrea Johnson, private attorney.
  • Paul E. Olah, Jr., private attorney.
  • Stephen Mathew Whyte, general counsel for Manatee County Clerk of Courts.
  • Kristy Zinna, private attorney.

“The Commission thanks all of those who participated in the nomination process. Input from the community by way of reference, recommendation, or general information about the applicant is vital to the process and is appreciated by the Commission,” commission chair Nancy Cason said in a statement.

The remaining candidates will undergo further vetting before the governor’s staff chooses finalists to meet with DeSantis.

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