Wheatland Municipal Judge Fred Hewitt and Randall Municipal Judge Charlie Gitzinger not seeking re-election

Two longtime municipal judges — Charlie Gitzinger in Randall and Fred Hewitt in Wheatland — are not running for re-election this spring.

Gitzinger was first appointed municipal judge in 1997 to fill and vacancy and then ran for re-election every term after.

Hewitt first held the post in 2003 and was subsequently re-elected to four terms.

Municipal judges are elected positions that decide cases in municipal courts. Typical municipal courts cases involve traffic cases on town roads or violations of other local ordinances. In Randall, for example, Gitzinger said the vast majority of cases involve violations of boating ordinances.

Municipal judges don’t have to have legal backgrounds or law degrees in Wheatland or Randall, but they do have to live in the municipality in which they run.

“All you have to do is have a little common sense,” Gitzinger said.

Hewitt said he got interested in the job because he liked to work with people.

“I still enjoy working with people,” Hewitt said. “It was just time to quit.”

Gitzinger got started as municipal judge when he was appointed to the position in 1997 by then town Chairman Lauren Fox to fill a vacancy.

“I find it interesting,” said Gitzinger, who said he now has other obligations that take up more of his time.

Both men had similar advice to anyone considering running for the position.

“Listen,” Hewitt said. “Just listen to what people have to say.”

Gitzinger said judges need to leave any pre-conception out of their decisions and consider what is put before them and “be above board with everyone in your court.”

Anyone interested in running for Wheatland municipal judge would need to file nomination papers including nomination signatures by Jan. 5. More information is available from town officials at 537-4340.

Randall is in the process of combining its municipal court with Twin Lakes, with the assumption that the Twin Lakes judge would preside over the new court.


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