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Nixon to appoint his policy director to circuit judge seat

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon plans to appoint his policy director to serve as a circuit court judge in central Missouri.

Jeff Harris announced Thursday that’ll he’ll accept the job for a seat covering Boone and Callaway counties.

The seat will be open when Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler reaches the mandatory retirement age for judges in late April 2016.

Harris says he’ll serve the remainder of Oxenhandler’s term, which runs through January 2017. Harris also plans to run for election in 2016 to keep the seat another six years.

Harris has been Nixon’s policy director for seven years and previously served in the Missouri House for six years, including as the minority leader. He also worked as an assistant attorney general when Nixon was the state attorney general.