MIAMI (CBSMiami) – William L. Thomas, an openly gay Miami-Dade judge, was nominated Wednesday as a federal judge in South Florida.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports President Barack Obama nominated Thomas, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge since 2005, for a vacant post on the federal bench.

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If confirmed, Thomas would become the first out gay black man appointed to a federal judgeship. “We’re delighted in the president’s appointment of Judge Thomas, who we recommend as a patient and hard-working man of incredible character,” said Chuck Wolfe, CEO and president of the Washington-based Victory Fund & Institute.

The group’s mission is to support openly gay candidates and appointees. “We believe he’s made an excellent jurist in Florida and will make an excellent federal jurist.”

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Thomas would fill the opening of U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan, who was confirmed as a federal appeals court judge earlier this year.

Previously, Thomas served as an assistant federal public defender in South Florida from 1997 to 2005. He began his legal career in 1994 as an assistant state public defender in Miami-Dade.

Thomas received his J.D. from Temple University School of Law and his B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College.

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