Oregon Supreme Court Justices elect new chief

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Justices on the Oregon Supreme Court have elected their next chief justice, who will take over in May.

Thomas Balmer, a former state deputy Attorney General, will take over from current Chief Justice Paul De Muniz. De Muniz is retiring after being elected in 2006.

The 59-year-old Balmer says he will continue De Muniz's efforts to make the court system more efficient and transparent.

Balmer has served on the state Supreme Court since 2001. Chief justices are elected to six-year terms.