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Four candidates named for Meeker, Chippewa County, Minn., judgeships

ST. PAUL -- The Commission on Judicial Selection announced today the four candidates to fill the two judicial vacancies in the State's Eighth Judicial District.

The candidates include Meeker County Attorney Stephanie Beckman, Yellow Medicine County Attorney Keith Helgeson and attorneys Rodney Hanson and Thomas Van Hon.

An announcement of Gov. Mark Dayton's final selection is expected after the interview process is completed in the next several weeks.

The vacancies were created upon the retirements of the Judges Steven Drange and the Paul Nelson. Judge Drange's seat will be chambered at Litchfield in Meeker County and Judge Nelson's seat will be chambered at Montevideo in Chippewa County. Both seats will be chambered within the Eighth Judicial District.

Hanson has maintained a local practice in Willmar since 1985 and Van Hon has a general law practice, is the city attorney for the city of Fairfax and is an assistant public defender for the Minnesota Board of Public Defense.

Minnesota's Eighth Judicial District consists of Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine counties.