Remember to flip over your ballots and vote for judges

The back of the ballots here in Minnesota include elections for judges, which State Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen says is a remarkable opportunity for Minnesotans.

While much of the nation’s attention is focused on the federal Supreme Court, with the confirmation proceedings of Amy Coney Barrett already underway, Thissen says the State’s highest court plays a fundamental role in protecting the rights of Minnesotans

Judges and justices are first appointed to the bench by the sitting Governor, then run for election in the next general election that is more than one year after the swearing-in date. An elected judge’s term is six years.

Often, these candidates run unopposed, but Justice Thissen is vying to retain his seat on the Supreme Court against challenger Michelle MacDonald.

In the 9th District court, Cass County Attorney Benjamin T. Lindstrom is challenging Judge Charles Halverson in Court 4, and in Court 19, attorney James Hughes is challenging incumbent Judge Jana Austad.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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