Governor Given 3 Names To Succeed Retired County Judge Russ Harford Of Chadron


     The 12th District Judicial Nominating Commission has sent 3 names to Governor Pete Ricketts for consideration to succeed retired County Judge Russ Harford in Chadron.

     Aaron Conn of Rushville is the Sheridan County Attorney, Travis Rodak of Bridgeport is the Morrill County Attorney, and Audrey Long of Scottsbluff has spent much of her career as a public defender. 

      All 3 received at least 5 votes from the members of the 12th District Judicial Nominating Commission. A fourth applicant, Dawes County Attorney Vance Haug, fell short of the threshold in voting after a public hearing Thursday in Chadron. 

     Haug was the most experienced of the group, having been licensed since 1994. Long joined the bar in 2006, Rodak in 2010, and Conn in 2011.

     Ricketts will interview Rodak, Long, and Conn,, either in person or remotely, before making the appointment to the bench. There is no timetable for his decision.

     The 12th Judicial District covers the 11 Panhandle Counties and Grant County in the Sandhills, but the new judge will be based in Chadron and primarily handle cases in Dawes, Sioux, and Sheridan Counties.