William Hood III, a Denver district court judge, has been chosen to succeed chief justice Michael Bender as a member of the state's highest court.
Gov. John Hickenlooper made the announcement Friday.
Hood, 50, has been a judge for about six years. Before assuming the bench he was in private practice and worked as a prosecutor in the 18th judicial district.
The new justice will have to stand for retention in the 2014 election. If retained, he'll serve a ten year term commencing in January 2015.
Hickenlooper's decision means that district judge David Prince of El Paso county and Colorado court of appeals judge John Dailey will have to await another vacancy on the state's highest court before trying again for promotion.
Justice Nancy E. Rice will take over as chief justice when Bender retires on Jan. 7, 2014.