It's now official -- Supreme Court Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea's challenger in the November election will be Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund.
In the primary, Gildea was top vote-getter for the seat she currently occupies, receiving more than 53 percent of the vote. Hedlund and Minneapolis attorney Jill Clark finished within a half of percentage point of each other for the #2 spot spot on the ballot (Hedlund had 17.86 percent to Clark's 17.43 percent), necessitating a recount under state law. With a margin of more than 1,300 votes separating the two candidates, the gap was narrowed by just 7 votes in the recount. (Click here to see the breakdown of the voting.) The results were certified yesterday.
A shout out to the counties and the office of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for getting this recount done so speedily. The retabulation by hand of thousands of ballots in a statewide election is no easy feat, and in this case was carried out with record alacrity.
The Gildea-Hedlund race should be an interesting one if, for no other reason, for the first time in recent memory it pits two sitting judges against each other. Stay tuned for more coverage of this and other judicial races ...