There’s a 5 p.m. application deadline Thursday for candidates who hope they’ll be picked for a county judge vacancy.

The Judicial Nominating Commission will screen candidates to fill the spot vacated by County Judge Stacy Ross, who was appointed a circuit judge by Gov. Rick Scott.

Judicial vacancies are filled by appointees. A nine-member, officially nonpartisan, commission of lawyers and non-lawyers evaluates applicants and then sends three to six names to the governor, who picks a judge from the list.

Even though Broward is overwhelmingly Democratic, the JNC is populated with Republican heavyweights thanks to the Republican governor.

Fred Karlinsky, whose practice focuses on complex insurance transactions, was elected the new chairman last month. He’s a shareholder with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb and was appointed to the JNC by Gov. Rick Scott in July 2011.

The commission’s vice chairman is former Broward Republican Chairman Kevin Tynan.

Other big name Republicans on the JNC include Belinda M. Keiser, Georgette Sosa Douglass and Zachariah P. Zachariah.