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Thursday, October 2, 2008

MSBA poll: Lawyers favor incumbents in statewide appellate races

The Minnesota State Bar Association has released the results of its plebiscite in which members are polled on the judicial races. The following are the results for the statewide seats that will be on the ballot in November.

There were no surprises in the race that pits 15-year Minnesota Supreme Court veteran Justice Paul Anderson against 9th Judicial District referee Tim Tingelstad. The well-known justice trounced Tingelstad, receiving 92 percent of the vote (i.e. 2,229 votes of 2,417 cast) from participating lawyers.

In the other Supreme Court race on the ballot, Lorie Skjerven Gildea, who was appointed to the high court by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2005, received 72 percent of the vote (1,703 of 2.377 cast). Gildea’s challenger, Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund, got 28 percent of the vote, which is actually not a bad showing in the MSBA poll, where the incumbent tends to do very well. Hedlund has made the central focus of her campaign her lengthy experience as a trial court judge. It’s highly unusual in Minnesota for a trial court judge to challenge a sitting justice for a high court seat, so this race is being closely watched. As Minnesota Lawyer will report in its upcoming edition, Gildea leads Hedlund in another important respect – funds raised. Gildea’s campaign reports taking in about $35,000 so far. Meanwhile, Hedlund’s campaign reports only $600 in contributions.

In the one contested Court of Appeals race, Terri J. Stoneburner, who joined the court eight years ago, received an impressive 92 percent of the vote (2,175 of the 2,375 votes cast). Her opponent, International Falls attorney Dan Griffith, has made two prior bids for a judgeship.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incumbent? What's an incumbent.....I didn't think we were supposed to use that word anymore to indicate which person is the one currently doing the job.