By Alisa Nelson
A statewide commission is interviewing 23 candidates this week who are interested in becoming the next Missouri Supreme Court judge. Judge George Draper III is retiring—leaving a spot to fill on the high court.
The Appellate Judicial Commission plans to interview the candidates on Aug. 21 and 22 in Jefferson City. Once the panel forwards its top three recommendations to Gov. Mike Parson, he will decide who will get the job.
“I think it’ll be like Robin Ransom, when we took a look at her record and everything, nobody was kind of expecting me to pick her. There was a lot of other people that thought I would be picking on someone else,” Parson told Missourinet. “Here’s what I will tell you, I’m gonna pick the most qualified candidate to be a Supreme Court judge. I don’t care about political affiliations. I don’t care about anything like that. I want to make sure that somebody is going to enforce the laws as the written.”
Some familiar faces have applied for the job. The candidates are:
• Tony Luetkemeyer, a Republican state Senator from Parkville
Chris Limbaugh, current Cole County Associate Circuit Judge and Gov. Mike Parson’s former legal counsel. He is related to the late conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Castle, who was appointed by the governor and led Parson’s swearing-in ceremony in 2021 to continue serving as governor.
Four other names on the list are judges from the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District – Jack Goodman, Becky Borthwick, Jennifer Growcock, and Ginger Gooch. Goodman is a former Republican state senator.
Several others serve on the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District, including Judges Kelly Broniec, Cristian Stevens, John Torbitzky, Thomas Clark II, and Michael Gardner.
Other judges being interviewed are:
St. Louis County Circuit Judge Thomas Albus
St. Louis County Circuit Judge Stanley Wallach
Platte County Associate Circuit Judge Megan Benton
Jackson County Circuit Judge Kenneth Garrett III
David Tunnell, a former associate judge of the 30th Circuit Court in Webster County, has also applied for the vacancy.
Attorneys seeking the job are:
• Stephen Davis, of True North Law
Joseph Kloecker, of Kloecker Law
• David Roland, of the Freedom Center of Missouri
• Shaun Mackelprang, of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office
• Grant Wobig, a Missouri public defender
• Jeffery McPherson, with Armstrong Teasdale
After interviews wrap up this week and the panel chooses its top three candidates, Gov. Parson will have 60 days to make his pick for the high court.
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