State judge nominated for federal bench

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A state judge from the Tri-Cities has been nominated by President Obama to become a federal judge for Eastern Washington.

Salvador Mendoza Jr. was nominated on Thursday, and would be the first Hispanic to serve as a federal judge in Eastern Washington.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., says Mendoza has an inspiring life story, including working as a migrant farm worker in the Yakima Valley.

Mendoza has been a Superior Court judge for Benton and Franklin counties since last year. Before that he was a lawyer in private practice, and also worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney and in the state Attorney General's office.

Mendoza received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and his law degree from UCLA.