CHARLESTON - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Monday the state's Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will begin receiving applications immediately for the vacancy in the Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge O.C. Spaulding.

Spaulding, who served as a judge in Putnam County for 20 years, announced in August he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease.

He retired from the bench last month.

In 2008, Spaulding was re-elected to his third consecutive eight-year term as a circuit judge. He has four years left on that term.

Tomblin's office said the deadline for applications is Feb. 15 and the deadline for submitting letters of recommendation is Feb. 22.

Applications and letters of recommendation will not be considered if received after the deadlines, the Governor's Office said.

Interviews will be held on March 5.

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