Former State Rep. Howard Orenstein announced today that he would seek the seat on the Ramsey County bench soon to be vacated by Judge John T. Finley. Additionally, St. Paul lawyer Paul Godfrey told Minnesota Lawyer he would “probably” run for the seat.
Godfrey ran for judge in 2006 but was defeated in a primary battle with incumbent Elena Ostby and former St. Paul City Council member Jay Benanav. Ostby then defeated Benanav in the general election.
Orenstein, who served 10 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1986 to 1996, has already assembled a campaign committee chaired by former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer.
Orenstein, 52, has been a practicing attorney in Minnesota for 24 years. He currently serves as an assistant county attorney in Hennepin County, and has also been a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. Orenstein also served as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at Hamline University.
Since 2005, Orenstein has been volunteer chair of the board of the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan State University Foundation; the Edgcumbe Youth Hockey Association, where he has coached youth hockey for 14 years; and the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.
While in the Minnesota House, Orenstein served for ten years on the Judiciary Committee, and he also chaired the Civil Law Subcommittee and served on the Judiciary Finance Committee.