Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C.
The Westfield resident was nominated by President Barack Obama in September to be a U.S. district judge for Massachusetts. He is midway through his first term as Hampden district attorney since his election in 2010. All candidates must be nominated by the president and then confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Mastroianni's appearance was the initial step in the process that could push the first-term district attorney to a federal judge position.
Mastroianni appeared in front of the committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 9 a.m. The committee reviewed Mastroianni and two other candidates for the position.
Gov. Deval L. Patrick will choose a replacement for the seat if Mastroianni leaves his position mid-term.
Longmeadow resident Hal Etkin, director of the regional police academy and a former assistant district attorney, recently launched his campaign for the Hampden County D.A. position.
The 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee, which is comprised of Republicans and Democrats, reviewed the qualifications of nominees and will give a recommendation. The Senate must then approve the candidate. The three U.S. district judge positions have a lifetime appointment.
Western Mass. U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor became semi-retired nearly two years ago.
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