TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott is picking Charles Alan Lawson to replace Justice James Perry on the state Supreme Court.
Scott announced his choice Friday, picking from among three finalists chosen by a state nominating panel.
Lawson serves as the chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal, which is based in Daytona Beach.
Lawson has compared himself to Justice Charles Canady, one of the most conservative of the high court's seven justices.
Perry is stepping down Dec. 30 because he's reached the mandatory retirement age for justices.
This is the first time since Scott took office in 2011 that he's chosen a justice. The other two finalists were 5th DCA Judge Wendy Berger and attorney Daniel Gerber.
Perry was appointed to the court in 2009 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist.