ALBUQUERQUE — County officials in New Mexico have appointed a retired lawyer and educator to fill the seat in the state House of Representatives after the former representative passed away Christmas Day.

Bernalillo County commissioners appointed Democrat Marian Matthews in a 5-0 vote to replace Rep. Bill Pratt, the Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday.

Pratt, a Democrat, represented House District 27, which includes part of northeast Albuquerque, officials said.

Matthews’ term will run until Dec. 31, 2020.

Matthews was a former prosecutor who represented children removed from their homes and has said she wants to address Albuquerque's violence and crime in her new position.

Matthews has also worked at Central New Mexico Community College teaching business law and other classes, officials said.

Matthews' was sworn in after a special commission meeting, beating out eight other applicants, officials said.

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