Governor has short list to replace District Judge Thomas W. Rumpke

Gov. Mark Gordon has received the three nominations to replace District Judge Thomas W. Rumpke. (Photo: Cowboy State Daily)

The names have been submitted and now await Governor Mark Gordon’s decision on the newest Sixth District Court Judge.

The shortlist has been narrowed down to a former county attorney and two current Circuit Court Judges.

The nominations were submitted to the governor by the Judicial Nominating Commission to fill the seat recently vacated by District Court Judge Thomas W. Rumpke, whose resignation is effective March 2.

At Monday’s Campbell County director’s meeting, Commission Administrative Director Carol Seeger said the nominations were narrowed down to attorney Ron Wirthwein and Circuit Court Judges Paul Phillips and Matthew Castano.

The governor has 30 days to make the appointment from the recommendations which were officially submitted Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Wirthwein, who previously served as the Campbell County Attorney, is currently employed by the Nick Carter Law Firm.

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Castano was appointed to Circuit Court in 2014, according to Ballotpedia, and Phillips was appointed two years later.

Rumpke, who has two months remaining, was appointed by Governor Matt Mead in February 2013 to replace outgoing judge Dan Price. He was later retained by voters when he earned 74.4 percent of the vote on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Rumpke was a senior assistant attorney general in the Tort Litigation Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. He is stepping down to relocate to the state’s capital where he will work for a private law firm.

This will be the second change in judges in the first three months of 2022. Former District Court judge John R. Perry, the state’s longest active district judge in Wyoming having served for two decades, retired this week.

Gordon selected James Michael Causey to fill his seat.