Golden Valley Jill Clark in an open letter to Minnesota Lawyer has congratulated Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund on her primary victory and appears to have thrown her support to Hedlund by commenting, “Think it doesn’t matter whether the district bench is represented on the appellate courts? Think again.” She has also challenged Supreme Court Justice Lorie Gildea to voluntarily remove the designation “incumbent” from the ballot. Although Clark lost that argument before the Supreme Court, Clark says, “Just because she [Gildea] can, doesn’t mean she should….”
Minnesota Statute 204B.36, subd. 5 addresses the incumbency designation and says “the word ‘incumbent’ shall be printed after that judge's name as a candidate.” It is silent about a candidate’s ability to opt out.