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Florida Senate's top lawyer seeks appeals court judgeship

George Levesque, the chief counsel to the Florida Senate, is one of 30 candidates for two upcoming vacant judgeships on the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. He'll be interviewed next week by a nine-member DCA nominating commission that will send at least three names for each position to Gov. Rick Scott, who will make the appointments. 

Levesque has the full support of Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, Senate spokeswoman Katherine Betta said Tuesday.

Other candidates include Mark Kruse, who works for Scott in the Office of Planning and Budgeting; Trisha Meggs Pate, an assistant attorney general and daughter of Tallahassee-area state prosecutor Willie Meggs; Assistant Attorney General Allen Winsor; J. Daniel McCarthy, who directs the 1st DCA marshal's office; and Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey.

DCA judges Simone Marstiller and Robert Benton are both retiring from the court, which routinely hears appeals in cases involving state laws and state government agencies. A DCA judgeship pays $154,140 a year. Scott's most recent appointment to the 15-member DCA, in June, was Thomas "Bo" Winokur, who was an assistant general counsel in Scott's office.