It was a bittersweet announcement from Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst on Wednesday that her chief deputy Jason Marks would be stepping down in order to become the newly appointed District Court Judge to replace the retiring Karen Townsend.

“Jason is such an important part of our office,” said Pabst. “He’s going to be really, really hard to replace. Obviously, we’ve come to rely on him in many different ways, not just with work-related stuff but with personnel issues, as well. He’s been such an inspiration to our team and its going to be really hard to replace home but Missoula County is lucky to have a judge like Jason with those qualifications and skills.”

Pabst said Marks was notified by Governor Steve Bullock’s office of his appointment on Wednesday.

“It’s such an honor,” she said. “It’s a highly competitive pool of candidates and the selection process was, as I understand, quite rigorous. His last day with us will be September 6th, though knowing Jason, he’ll be at his next job the following morning.”

Marks’ wife, Jordan Kilby will remain as a Deputy County Attorney in the Missoula office.