CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has decided not to hold up the appointment of Wyoming’s next state superintendent of public instruction amid a lawsuit over how the three finalists for the job were chosen.

Gov. Mark Gordon plans to name the successor to State Superintendent Jillian Balow on Thursday after the ruling earlier in the day, Gordon spokesman Michael Pearlman said by email.

Those questioning how the Wyoming Republican Party chose the finalists failed to show they are likely to prevail in their case, Wyoming U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl wrote in denying their request to suspend the process while the lawsuit proceeds.

Balow resigned Jan. 16 to become head of Virginia’s public school system. Balow was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, so almost a year remains in her final term.

The Wyoming Republican Party Central Committee on Saturday chose three finalists — Thomas Kelly, Marti Halverson and Brian Schroeder — for Gordon to choose from to complete Balow’s term.

The committee chose the finalists with votes allocated to the three committee members from each of Wyoming’s 23 counties. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit including former Wyoming House Speaker Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, say Wyoming’s more populated counties should have more say.