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McLane interviewing for federal judgeship

House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, says that he is in the running for U.S. District Court judge.

Rep. Mike McLaneHouse Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, says that he is in the running for U.S. District Court judge.

"I'll confirm that I'm being interviewed for it, but that's not until later this month," McLane said Thursday.

McLane declined to say with whom his interview is going to be.

The Powell Butte Republican said he was asked to apply, but declined to say by whom, other than the person was an elected official from Eastern Oregon.

He said that "folks are interested in seeing someone who lives east of the mountains" on the bench and that he was honored to be considered.

The position would be located in Portland, McLane said.

U.S. District Court judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Nominations are typically referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which evaluates the candidate before the Senate votes on the nomination.

McLane, a partner at Lynch Conger McLane LLP in Bend and 1990 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, referred further questions to Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden.

But a spokesman for Wyden was mum.

"While the judicial selection process is ongoing, it would not be fair to the committee to comment on any potential applicant," Wyden spokesman Hank Stern wrote in an email Thursday.

McLane, who was elected to the Oregon House in 2010, was previously rumored to be in the running for the position of U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon; but in mid-November President Trump nominated the incumbent, Billy Williams.

McLane also briefly mulled a run for governor last year, but announced in early September that he would not run, saying that his candidacy "may divide our party in ways that might be difficult to overcome."