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Final tally of Florida Supreme Court applicants rises to 32

Judge Kimberly Bonner’s application had been overlooked due to technology reasons

There now are 32 candidates for the two open seats on the Florida Supreme Court.

Shortly after the the Christmas Eve deadline, the official list expanded Thursday with the addition of Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Bonner of the 12th Judicial Circuit. Her name did not appear on the initial final list compiled by the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Committee.

The 12th Judicial Court hears cases in DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

“Judge Bonner’s application was timely submitted to the commission by email but was initially overlooked for technological reasons,” commission Chairman Daniel Nordby said in an email.

The two Supreme Court seats opened when former justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa were appointed by President Donald Trump to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

An initial list of the candidates showed 31 applicants, with most currently serving as state appellate or circuit judges.

The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission will review the applications, interview candidates and submit the names of finalists to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will select the replacements for Luck and Lagoa. Because of the current makeup of the court, one of DeSantis’ selections will have to be a resident of the state’s 3rd Appellate District, which is made up of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

The commission plans to meet around mid-January to vet the applications and decide how to set up a week or two of interviews by commission members of applicants, perhaps in multiple locations around the state. That could lead to the nominating commission forwarding nominations to DeSantis before Jan. 25.

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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