Four Panhandle Attorneys Apply To Succeed County Judge Russ Harford; Hearing On Oct 27


      Four Panhandle lawyers have applied to fill the Chadron-based county judgeship vacancy created by this summer’s retirement of Russ Harford of Chadron. 

      Three of the four are county attorneys: Vance Haug of Chadron, Aaron Conn of Rushville, and Travis Rodak of Bridgeport. The other applicant is Audrey Long of Scottsbluff. 

      The 12th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission is holding a public hearing to take testimony for and against the applicants later this month in Chadron.

      The hearing on the 27th will begin at 1:30 at Chadron State College in the Student Center Bordeaux Room. Members of the public may testify at that time.

        Those so wishing may instead submit written testimony and pertinent information in advance online at or by mailing it no later than Oct 20 to Justice Paik, Nebraska Supreme Court, PO Box 98910, Lincoln, NE 68509.

       The 12th Judicial District covers the 11 Panhandle counties plus Grant County in the Sandhills while the Judicial Nominating Commission consists of 4 attorneys and 4 lay members.

       The lay members are Kim Engel and Bruce Ferguson of Scottsbluff, Neal Smith of Gering, and Peggy Propps of Sidney. The attorneys are Matt Watson and Amy Patras of Chadron, Paul Snyder of Gering, and Jonas Longoria of Scottsbluff.