Q2 reports that Billings’ own Judge Ingrid Gustafson, of the Yellowstone County District Court, has been chosen by Gov. Steve Bullock for the Montana State Supreme Court. She was one of three finalists for the position to replace Justice Mike Wheat, beating out Helena attorney Mike Lamb and state Water Court Judge Russell McElyea of Bozeman.

Gustafson will face re-election to the bench next year for a four-year term. Gustafson will join the seven-member high court in January. She was first appointed by Gov. Judy Martz, and will become the third woman on the Supreme Court, joining justices Beth Baker and Laurie McKinnon.

Her appointment will create a vacancy in Yellowstone County, as Russell Fagg retired this year to run for the U.S. Senate. Two new judicial positions for the Yellowstone County Court were approved by the Montana legislature.

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