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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Incumbents sail through judicial races

The judicial election results were no surprise at the appellate level, with the incumbents winning handily in the two contested state Supreme Court races and one contested Court of Appeals races.

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson skated by his challenger, 9th Judicial District magistrate Tim Tingelstad, by more than a 60/40 margin. A similar margin of victory was enjoyed by Court of Appeals Judge Terri Stoneburner, who turned back a challenge from International Falls attorney Dan Griffith, who was twice before unsuccessfully sought judicial office. (Tingelstad has also made two prior bids for judgeships.)

In the most closely watched appellate race, Supreme Court Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea beat Hennepin County District Court Judge Deborah Hedlund by a 55/45 margin.

In the 2nd Judicial District (Ramsey County), Children's Law Center executive director Gail Chang Bohr pulled off what at least one political insider described as a "shocker" against former state lawmaker Howard Orenstein to fill a vacant judicial seat. Many had assumed Orenstein's name recognition in Ramsey County and knowledge of political campaigns would make him tough to beat. It bears pointing out that Bohr did narrowly miss beating Orienstein in a State Bar poll, and was endorsed by the Pioneer Press, so maybe it was not that much of a surprise. Nonetheless, it was quite an impressive feat for a political (errr... judicial) newcomer.

In the 4th judicial District (Hennepin County), former state lawmaker Jane Ranum prevailed over Hennepin County District Court referee David Piper in the most closely watched race. Ramum and Piper were competing for an open seat. Piper pumped $100,000 of his own money into his campaign war chest, but in the end lost by about 9 percent of the vote to the better-known ex-lawmaker.

In all the other District Court races, the incumbent prevailed. This includes another closely watched race in the 4th Judicial District, where Judge James Swenson turned back a challenge from Thomas Haeg, a former magistrate with the court.

Click here to see the complete breakdown from the Secretary of State's website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your coverage of the judicial elections. It was great!