Judge appointed to state Senate

By John O'Brien | Jan 28, 2013

CHARLESTON – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed an Eastern Panhandle judge to the state Senate.

On Jan. 23, Tomblin appointed Judge Donald Cookman to the 15th Senatorial District to fill a vacancy created when Walt Helmick left his spot to serve as the Commissioner of Agriculture.

Cookman has been a judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit – which is comprised of Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton counties – since 1993.

"Throughout his years on the bench, Judge Cookman has dedicated himself to the people of the 22nd Judicial Circuit and I'm confident as a state senator he will continue to serve West Virginians well," Tomblin said.

Cookman began his legal career in 1971 as an attorney in Romney. Two years later, he became the Hampshire County Prosecuting Attorney, a post he held until 1992.

He has also served as president of the West Virginia Judicial Association and as a member and chairperson of the Judicial Ethics Commission.

The state Supreme Court had recently appointed him to the state’s new business court, which is headquartered in Martinsburg.

Cookman earned his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in 1971.

Helmick had been in the state Senate since 1990. He defeated Republican Kent Leonardt in November’s general election by more than 19,000 votes.

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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