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Obama nominates four for federal judgeships, including gay Miami-Dade Judge Darrin Gayles

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIAMI -- President Barack Obama has nominated four people to serve as federal judges in Florida's middle and southern districts.

Three of those nominated Wednesday are currently circuit judges and one is an attorney in private practice. All four must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

According to a White House announcement, Obama chose Miami-Dade Circuit Judges Beth Bloom and Darrin Gayles for South Florida. Nominees for Florida's middle district are Putnam County Circuit Judge Carlos Eduardo Mendoza and Orlando attorney Paul Byron.

One of the president's recent choices for the South Florida federal bench, Circuit Judge William Thomas, was withdrawn from consideration amid strong opposition from Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Thomas would have been the first openly gay black federal judge.

Gayles is also a gay black man. He has been supported for election by Victory Fund, a national organization that only backs openly gay candidates.

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