For the Cumberland Times-News
ROMNEY, W.Va. — Donald H. Cookman will serve the 15th Senatorial District, filling the vacancy created when former Sen. Walt Helmick resigned to serve as the West Virginia commissioner of agriculture, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday.
“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 in the announcement.
Most recently, Cookman served as the chief judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit comprised of Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton counties. He has served as circuit judge since 1993 and was assigned temporarily as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and sitting as judge in other circuits.
In 1971, Cookman began his legal career in private practice in Romney.
Cookman then served as Hampshire County prosecuting attorney from 1973 through 1992, and as a special prosecuting attorney in Hardy, Pendleton and Mineral counties. Cookman has served as president of the West Virginia Judicial Association and as a member and chairman of the Judicial Ethics Commission.
He was recently appointed by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia as one of three judges on the newly created statewide Business Court.
A graduate of Romney High School, Cookman completed his undergraduate studies at West Virginia University before graduating from the WVU College of Law in 1971.
Cookman resides in Romney with his wife, Paula Jean. The couple have three children and three grandchildren.