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Four candidates named for Eighth Judicial District judgeships

WILLMAR - A panel has recommended four candidates to fill two vacant judgeships in Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District.

The names were announced Friday by the Commission on Judicial Selection.

They are:

Jennifer Fischer, Kandiyohi County attorney. Fischer prosecutes crimes and serves as the legal adviser to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. She previously was a partner in Jones and Fischer PA; prior to that, she was an assistant public defender for the Eighth Judicial District. Her civic involvement includes serving on the  Rice Memorial Hospital board of directors and the Willmar Lakes Rotary board.

Rodney Hanson, a partner with Anderson, Larson, Hanson and Saunders PLLP, where he practices primarily in civil litigation. Hanson has been in practice in Willmar since 1985 and is a qualified neutral arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He is a past president and board member of the United Way of West Central Minnesota and is active in Vinje Lutheran Church.

Jeffrey Kuhn, president of the law firm of Nelson, Kuhn and Nordmeyer Ltd. of Glenwood. His practice includes real estate, probate, business and civil litigation. Kuhn is also a part-time assistant public defender for the Eighth Judicial District and was previously the city attorney for the city of Starbuck. He is a board member of the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Pope County Food Shelf.

Antonio Tejeda, owner and attorney with the law office of Tejeda Guzman PLLP. His primary practice is in workers compensation, Social Security disability and veteran affairs appeals. Tejeda also is a staff judge advocate with the Minnesota Army National Guard and was previously an attorney with the Willmar law firm of Anderson, Larson, Hanson and Saunders. He is currently a board member of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and the YMCA of Kandiyohi County.

The two Eighth District judgeships became vacant with the recent retirements of Judge Kathryn Smith, who was chambered in Willmar, and Judge Jon Stafsholt, who was chambered in Glenwood.

The four candidates will go through an interview process over the next few weeks. Appointments by Gov. Mark Dayton will be announced when the process is complete.

The Eighth Judicial District covers the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine.