Idaho Supreme Court Justice Joel D. Horton has announced he will retire Dec. 31 after serving the state’s judiciary for almost a quarter of a century.

The announcement came Friday morning in a statement from the Idaho Supreme Court. Horton’s tenure with the court began in 2007, with his appointment by Gov. Butch Otter. Prior to that, Horton, an Idaho native, served as a district court judge in Boise, beginning in 1996; his career began as an Ada County magistrate judge in 1994.

He twice retained his Supreme Court seat in statewide contests, first in 2008, then in 2014.

In the statement, Horton wrote he felt honored to have served the state of Idaho during his career.

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“I am proud of the work that our judiciary accomplishes at all levels and to have been a part of that work,” his statement reads. “Beyond the work of the court, I have very much appreciated working with talented, collegial jurists and in particular, working with the other justices has been tremendously rewarding on both a professional and personal level over the last decade.”

Horton’s vacancy will be filled by an appointment from the governor, who will select from between two and four candidates chosen by the Idaho Judicial Council. The new justice will serve the remainder of the unfinished term, which will end in January 2020. Another justice will be selected for the next six-year term during a May 2019 election, according to the statement.

Idaho Supreme Court Justice Roger S. Burdick wrote in the statement he had difficulty imagining the Idaho Supreme Court without Horton.

“It has been a professional pleasure to work alongside a dedicated public servant who combines the best of intelligence and humility,” Burdick wrote.

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