The Campbell County Republican Party Central Committee announced today the applicants it received for the Campbell County and Prosecuting Attorney vacancy created by the resignation of Ronald Wirthwein, Jr. last month. Wirthwein’s resignation was effective at noon on Monday, Oct. 26 (County 17, Oct. 22).
The party received three applications from local attorneys. Applicants were Kyle A. Ferris, Jonah Buckley, and Mitchell H. Damsky. Applications were due by 5:00 p.m. yesterday.
Ferris, whose cover letter notes he is a Campbell County native, has worked in the County Attorney’s Office since 2015. He also served in private practice from 2011 to 2014. He is a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law and obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University. Ferris has served the community as a member of the Campbell County Public Library Board and the City of Gillette’s Park and Beautification Board.
“The adherence to the rule of law is more important now than it has ever been. Equally enforced laws and the impartial adjudication of justice is fundamental to our daily life,” Ferris said in his cover letter.
Jonah Buckley, who also works at the County Attorney’s Office, is a 2008 graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law and has a B.A. in Communications from UW. He mentions being a fourth-generation Campbell County resident. Buckley has worked for the County Attorney’s Office since December of 2016 and previously served in private practice, and as an assistant public defender. He also has familiarity with the Adult Treatment Court Felony Track and DUI Track, serving as a defense attorney representative for the felony track and a prosecuting attorney representative for the DUI track.
The final application was received from Mitchell H. Damsky. Damsky works in the Campbell County Office of the Wyoming Public Defender’s Office as a senior trial lawyer. He has been a practicing attorney for nearly 37 years, with both criminal and civil experience. Damsky notes that he thinks the County Attorney’s Office has been too lenient with plea deals and is “too scared to take cases to trial.”
He obtained his J.D. from the Birmingham School of Law, has a B.A. in History, and completed Comparative Government Studies in Oxfordshire, England.
“While working in Yellowstone in the late 70s, I fell in love with the beauty and majesty of Wyoming and knew that someday, I’d be back to stay. That day came over six years ago when my wife and I followed our dreams and relocated from Alabama to Gillette,” Damsky said in his cover letter.
Practicality over process
The Campbell County Republican Party Central Committee will now select three candidates to transmit to the Campbell County Board of Commissioners to consider for the vacancy, per Wyoming statute. The party has scheduled a meeting for Monday, Nov. 9.
However, as there are three applicants and statutes require the party to transmit three names to the board of commissioners, the party’s influence over the selection of our next Campbell County and Prosecuting Attorney may be limited.